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Masks, COVID-19 Tests Fines, Flight Passes, Quarantines: Welcome to Cyprus

Αssociated Press

Motorcyclists wear face masks in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Friday, July 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Wanting British tourists to pump up an economy stymied by COVID-19, Cyprus has put so many rules and restrictions on them that many are finding it's not worth the cost or bother, as even after landing they could be fined for breaking health rules.

Visitors from the United Kingdom, the island's former Colonial ruler, were allowed in as of Aug. 1 but only if they are tested for COVID-19 at their own expense and show proof and complete and bring an online Flight Pass.

Wearing masks on the island is also required in supermarkets, bakeries, shops, malls, hospitals and other public indoor gathering places, with failure to comply bringing a fine of 300 euros ($355.41.)

Negative Coronavirus test results can be presented at the Cyprus border in the form of an email or text message but must provide both the date the test was taken on and the result and shown along with the Flight Pass, with the test uploaded with it within 24 hours of departure to the island.

Passengers are also required to carry with them, in hard copy or electronically, copies of these documents, even on the beach apparently, the restrictions significant enough to deter many from the UK from coming, even to their favorite island.

The British newspaper The Sun reported British families are canceling their holidays to Cyprus despite being welcomed back this month - as the entry restrictions are too complicated and bothersome, including the test that can cost up to 222.25 euros, equivalent to $263.25 per person.

Sunvil Travel owner Noel Josephides, who offers Cyprus holiday deals, said holidays are being canceled. He told the Cyprus Mail: "We had people booking trips to Cyprus in the past months but almost all of them have canceled their plans.

"In fact, we have close to zero new bookings for this summer. For Britons with family and children, the tests and forms that need to be completed are a nightmare."

Travel agent Harry Kyrillou agreed, adding the tests "scare British tourists away". He warned that the year is "completely lost" for tourism.

Cyprus is considering performing just one COVID-19 test on each family of holidaymakers, making it drastically cheaper for British tourists, the report said.

Cyprus' top immunologist Dr Leontios Kostrikis told Sun Online Travel that the government was also seriously considering a proposal made by experts to conduct "pool testing" at airports on the island to help cut costs.

He explained: "Pool testing is a technique used around the world and is scientifically sound and the government is seriously considering it.

After all that, if a tourist comes down with the Coronavirus they could be quarantined although the government earlier said it would pick up all the costs.