After months of lockdown, Cyprus finally reopened its borders last June – but only travellers from certain countries are currently being let in. There’s also a twist to lure back visitors: if you test positive for Covid-19 after visiting, the Cypriot government has said it will reimburse your travel costs.
The country is currently allowing in travellers from within the EU and Schengen area, as well as from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Visitors from three smaller sets of countries do not have to self-isolate on arrival. ‘Green’ countries include: Australia, Iceland and Saudi Arabia. ‘Orange’ countries include: China, Hong Kong, Ireland and Portugal. ‘Red’ countries include: France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Everyone else will have to quarantine in their accommodation for 14 days on arrival.
There is also a complex testing system in place, as follows: travellers from ‘green’ countries will be tested on arrival; those from ‘orange’ countries will have to provide a negative test result form within the past 72 hours; those from ‘red’ countries will have to provide a negative test result and take another test on arrival. All international visitors must apply for a ‘Cyprus flight pass’ before departure.
The Cypriot government has also said that Israeli travellers will be able to skip testing by providing proof of vaccination from April 1. Vaccinated Brits, too, will be able to bypass restrictions with a vaccine certificate as of May 1.
Finally, if your homeland is on one of the lists of approved countries, the Cypriot government has come up with a pretty unusual guarantee to encourage you to hit that booking button. It’s pledging to pay the holiday expenses of any travellers who test positive for coronavirus after visiting.
Accommodation, medicine and food for the entire affected group would all be included, with travellers only needing to pay for their journey back home. A dedicated hospital and hotel would also be available for stricken tourists.
So if you are on one of the countries allowed to swim in that clear blue sea over the coming months, at least you won’t have to worry about whether your travel insurance will cover you if your trip gets ruined by Auntie Rona.
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.