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COVID19: Cyprus bans entry to British tourists

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Due to the new COVID strain, Cyprus has banned British travellers by placing the United Kingdom in category C, which means that non-Cypriot visitors are denied entry without a special permit.

Asked by the Financial Mirror to confirm that Cyprus has banned Britons, Health Ministry press officer Margarita Kyriacou said: “From the moment that arrivals from the UK are taken to state facilities to be quarantined, this means that Cyprus has placed the country in category C on its safe travel list”.

The British High Commission in Nicosia also confirmed that Briton has been placed in category C, following a cabinet decision on Tuesday.

A source at the High Commission in Nicosia confirmed that: “Only Cypriots or people with RoC residency or a work permit are allowed in from the UK”.

The High Commission is waiting for Cypriot authorities to make the decision public, “although the decision is already in effect”.

Cyprus currently applies a three-category safe list A, B and C, no EU country is in category A, from where visitors do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test.

Arrivals from countries in Category B need proof they tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Cyprus while arrivals from category C are asked to self-isolate.

Under a Health Ministry decree issued on Monday, all UK arrivals must be tested upon arrival and then spend a minimum seven days in quarantine at state-designated facilities (hotels) and another three in self-isolation if they test negative on the seventh day.

Cypriots and residents of the island who are allowed to travel must complete a “Cyprus Flight Pass” before flying while they will still be subjected to quarantine.

Under regulations in force in the UK, Britons returning from Cyprus to the UK are subject to a mandatory period of quarantine.

UK travellers who were due to visit Cyprus are being advised to contact their travel provider to discuss their options.

Cyprus’ decision to impose quarantine came after EU countries banned UK flights when Britain said it had found a new potent strain of the coronavirus.

The quarantine measure is compulsory for all passenger over the age of 18, whilst minors can self-isolate at home.

Tuesday’s decision to demote the UK to category C was done, without, however, informing the public.

According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: “On 21 December, the Cypriot authorities publicly advised against all but essential travel to the UK from Cyprus, and a mandatory authority-assigned quarantine of a minimum of seven days for all arrivals into Cyprus from the UK.

“Following this announcement, the authorities have informed the British High Commission, but not yet publicly announced, that the UK is now in Cyprus’ Category C.

“This means that visitors from the UK are not permitted to travel to Cyprus.”