Cyprus is set for a summer of love as hundreds of Brits are planning on getting married on the sun-splashed island following an announcement that vaccinated tourists are welcome from May 1.
So far, 800 couples have arranged for their civil wedding to take place in Ayia Napa – or are in the process of doing so – with a further 450 set for Paralimni.
The news comes as a ray of hope for couples having faced a gloomy year in lockdown love, with Britain’s swift vaccination rollout offering many a chance for a summer of rest, relaxation and festivities.
Daily Phileleftheros reported that Ayia Napa mayor Christos Zannetou has welcomed the surge of interest by Brits as a positive move during an otherwise challenging year.
Zannetou explained that as weddings are lively events, the couples are likely to invite many friends and family members which will help revitalise aspects of the local economy – with everything from bakeries for cakes to hairdressers and taxis drivers set to gain.
And while the focus so far appears to be on Ayia Napa and Paralimni, he is optimistic that many other municipalities will benefit from the expected tourist boom.
The island has emerged as a favourite for British couples wishing to get married at the birthplace of Aphrodite, with the UK market accounting for about half of the tourist weddings which take place.
Travel has for many become a nightmare throughout the past year, epitomised in September when a UK bride almost missed her flight for her wedding in Cyprus after three inconclusive coronavirus tests.
Luckily for Kelly Warrington, the fourth test finally came back negative, and she was free to reunite with the 23 other guests who were waiting for her.
If all goes according to plan, such last-minute travel anxieties should be a thing of the past as Cyprus’ deputy tourism minister has assured Brits that if they are vaccinated, they will not face restrictions.
“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,” the deputy tourism minister, Savvas Perdios said last month