A sharp rise in COVID cases is likely to see Cyprus removed from the UK’s safe travel list after daily infections have hit their highest point since the coronavirus outbreak in early March.
Unlike many EU destinations, Cyprus has remained on the UK’s travel corridor list (no need to quarantine) due to its low coronavirus infection rate, but that has all changed.
Cyprus recorded its second-highest weekly case total since the outbreak, while Saturday’s 202 cases are the highest recorded.
During the lockdown, Cyprus saw cases peak at 58 on April 1, but the island’s health authorities have reported higher numbers five times during the past seven days.
Health authorities reported a total of 638 cases over the past week with 104 on Thursday and 202 on Saturday.
But on Monday there was a lower 43 cases taking total infections to 2687.
A decision to knock Cyprus off from the safe corridor could see last-minute holidays booked by Britons on the island going down the drain, as returning from a holiday could mean a 14-day quarantine period.
Cyprus has been a popular holiday destination this summer after remaining on the UK’s safe list.
The UK is Cyprus’ largest tourist market making up a third (33.5%) of annual tourist arrivals which reached 3.97 million in 2019.
While Cyprus has only recorded just over 2,600 cases and 25 deaths, the country’s infection rate per 100,000 people over a seven-day period has spiked from 20 a week ago to 75.9 on Sunday according to the data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
CEO of travel consultancy, The PC Agency Paul Charles has been posting updates on Twitter regarding countries’ latest coronavirus rates with data collected from the ECDC.
Cyprus is now well above the UK’s threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
However, Cyprus is not the only country in the red zone on the travel corridor list.
Germany, Sweden and Greece are also in the red with high infection rates but remain on the UK safe list.
Germany and Sweden have recorded 49.3 and 44.7 new cases per 100,000 people respectively over a seven-day period.
But travellers from Denmark and Canada with 51.2 and 53.5 new cases per 100,000 people respectively over a seven-day period are required to quarantine.
Greece remains on the cusp of the UK threshold with 28.1 new cases per 100,000 people over a week-long period.