In an effort to revive its travel economy, which represents a significant contribution to its economy (around 13%), the Mediterranean country of Cyprus is the latest to welcome vaccinated travelers to its shores – it will open to 65 countries, including United States. and United Kingdom, from May 10.
From that date, people who have proof of vaccination can enter without needing to test for Covid-19, as indicated by The telegraph.
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios told Reuters: “I think this is a fantastic initiative and I think it is very important for people to know that regardless of [country risk] categorization, if a person is fully vaccinated, they no longer need tests to come to Cyprus. ”
Perdios told the Cypriot News Agency that the countries included are Armenia, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, United States and Switzerland, as the ‘reported UKTN.
The country hopes the policy will help encourage people to return to Cyprus (tourism income in 2020 is down 85% from 2019 figures). However, it should be borne in mind that Cyprus is currently suffering from high rates of Covid-19 infection – it is currently in a two-week ‘brief abrupt halt’ to stem the surge in the spread (April 26 to May 9) with all non-essential businesses closed and a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said: “We cannot ignore the agony expressed by medical professionals who have taken on the task of treating our fellow citizens in Covid wards and intensive care units. He added that “the health system is under immense pressure and we must ensure that the health services provided will continue to be of a high standard”.
The current increase is attributed to the arrival of the so-called English variant, B.1.1.7. Variant of Covid-19 that the government is trying to block by stepping up the vaccination effort in the country – Ioannou appealed to the Cypriots, saying: “I appeal again to everyone to have them vaccinated without hesitation and without delay. “
It is the UK, however, that Cyprus needs to convince – UK holidaymakers make up a third of the 4 million annual visitors, and the UK government is unlikely to include Cyprus on its list of safe ‘green’ countries for citizens to visit. Britons can travel on May 17th – the UK government is expected to publish its list on Friday May 7th.