After Passengers Pay for COVID-19 Tests, Jet2 Cancels Cyprus Flights

Αssociated Press

A health worker carry out coronavirus test on a woman outside a municipal administration building in southern coastal city of Limassol, Cyprus, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Passengers who paid up to the equivalent of $261.71 for COVID-19 tests required for them to fly to Cyprus were furious after the British tour operator Jet2 canceled all fights and holidays to island until Aug. 17.

The airline vacation company said it had “no choice” but to stop the flights and trips to Larnaka and Paphos due to the country’s “prohibitive entry restrictions,” requiring the tests, which it knew about before booking the passengers, said Kathimerini.

All holidaymakers to Cyprus must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before traveling which has their coronavirus test result uploaded within 24 hours of departure, with hoteliers on the islands pressuring the government admit passengers easier from the United Kingdom, the biggest tourist bloc.

Travelers must present their test information before boarding and on arrival and a Jet2 spokesman blamed “prohibitive entry restrictions” for the decision with no explanation why the flights were booked knowing those measures.

“We continue to urge the Cypriot authorities to review the entry criteria in line with other destinations, so that our customers can enjoy their well-deserved holidays,” the company said, trying to gloss over the outrage. 

Jet2 said that passengers will be able to rebook without administrative fees, or be offered a refund note or cash refund, the British newspaper The Sun said, reporting on the anger from passengers who said that doesn't make up for the price of tests which would have to be redone if they fly later.

Hannah Purvis wrote: "Imagine @jet2tweets emailing to cancel your flight 15 minutes after you’ve just paid for a private Covid test. Had the information since Monday but waiting till the last minute to cancel."

Richard Marseden wrote: "This is diabolical! We have sorted COV19 tests, done all the relevant paperwork, so do we now just throw all that in the bin?! You will need to reimburse me quickly."

Rohan James also said: "At 3:45pm today I had my PCR test (£175) and within the 72 hours. 4:10pm today you send me an email saying my holiday has been cancelled. Can you provide me with a refund for the test as patently it's a cost I've incurred that needn't have been."