NICOSIA – Eager to get tourists back after a disastrous 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic raged, Cyprus will open its doors starting May 1 for visitors from a key market, the United Kingdom – if they can show proof of vaccination.
This means those who qualify won’t have to also carry a test showing they are negative for the Coronavirus according to plans from Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios, British media reported.
But the May 1 date doesn’t jibe with UK government policies that restrict travel abroad until May 17 and only if a lockdown has eased by then to make it safe for them to leave the country and return.
Visitors to Cyprus will need to have been given vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency and a second dose must have been administered at least seven days before travel, Sky News reported.
Vaccines from the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech as well as those from the American company Moderna and the UK’s AstraZeneca require two shots three weeks to three months apart.
Authorities still have the right to carry out random tests on foreign arrivals, said Perdios.
"We have informed the British government that from 1 May we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated … so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine," Perdios told the Cyprus News Agency.
British expatriates are a force on the island where the UK had been a Colonial ruler before independence and it’s a big lure for the British, the economy counting on them.