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UK looking to lift restrictions for travellers from Cyprus

The UK is looking to include Cyprus on a list of countries to be announced next week from where travellers will have unrestricted access to the country, while head of the hotels association Pasyxe said the UK’s decision to lift quarantine restrictions is “important” for Cyprus.

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides on Saturday told the Cyprus Mail said he was informed by British Minister for Europe Wendy Morton that the UK was looking to lift coronavirus travel restrictions for Cypriot visitors.

According to Christodoulides, Morton said they were looking into allowing Cypriots to be on the green list, as the epidemiological data in Cyprus is good.

On Friday, the UK announced it would be lifting its mandatory quarantine for travellers to the country.

Countries will be placed on green, amber and red lists, to be drawn up based on the trajectory of the disease. The lists are set to be announced next week. Those on the green list will be allowed into the UK without restrictions. The amber list will need to fill in a form so they can be contacted and the red list will not be allowed entry.

Cyprus currently has a low infection rate for the coronavirus with few cases over the past few days.

Government adviser and professor of microbiology and molecular virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School Petros Karayiannis said on Monday the virus is still there, but the situation was not worrying.

Pasyxe head Philokypros Roussounides said as the UK made “important” decisions now is the time for Cyprus to make a step towards opening for Brits.

“It is important because the United Kingdom is one of the island’s largest tourist markets,” he said.

He added he believed it was now time for Cyprus set an “official date” to open to tourists from the UK, be it mid-July, late July, or August.

“It is important to have a date so tourist operators can plan accordingly.”

On Wednesday, Roussounides called for the government to open entry to British, Russian and Scandinavian tourists.

“We need the British, the Russians and the Scandinavians and as many others as possible. We respect the need for the government to safeguard the nation’s health, but other countries, with which we compete, like Greece and Spain, have already set dates for a relaxation of such restrictions,” he points out.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios also said Wednesday that the ministry is trying hard to open up new markets and to attract new types of tourism as well as new age groups, so that the product gets expanded.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he agreed that July 15 was a reasonable date for arrivals from the UK to start.

Currently, the UK is on Cyprus’ category C list of countries, travellers from which are not allowed entry into Cyprus.

Flights from category C countries are repatriation flights, for Cypriot citizens or permanent residents.

Travellers from countries in category A face no restrictions when arriving in Cyprus, while those from countries on the category B list have to present a negative PCR test from their source country 72 hours prior to arrival.

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