COVID19: Cyprus still waits for UK green status

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Cyprus remains on the UK’s COVID amber travel list for another month, dashing the island’s hopes of welcoming thousands of British tourists in July.

The UK government updated its safe travel list on Thursday, adding just three countries and regions to its green list from where self-isolation on return is not required.

Malta, the Balearic Islands and Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal situated in the north Pacific Ocean, made the cut.

Malta has kept its daily cases in single digits since early May and has fully vaccinated more than 65% of its population.

Remaining in amber requires tourists coming from the UK to catch some sun on the island’s beaches, going into 10-day self-isolation upon their return, and taking two PCR tests.

It means the delayed arrival of British holidaymakers by another three weeks, effectively losing the entire month of July, crucial for the battered tourism industry.

The British market made up one-third of the 3.97 million tourist arrivals, pre-coronavirus.

The UK updates its colour-coded classification system every three weeks – meaning Cyprus will stay on amber for the next 21 days at least.

To make it on the green list, Cyprus would have to reduce COVID-19 cases, which are currently on the rise.

But the UK may allow fully vaccinated Britons to travel to amber countries.

Cyprus has gone from reporting scores of cases a day to triple-digit daily infections, reaching 175 on Thursday, dangerously flirting with falling into the UK’s red category.

Cyprus may have some wiggle room to save the season if the UK government plans to allow British residents who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to amber countries without having to isolate upon return.

The government pushed back the easing of coronavirus-related measures in England from 21 June to 19 July.

The UK green list includes Barbados, Bermuda, the Caymans, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Virgin Isles, Montserrat, and the Turks & Caicos.

Malta is the only European destination on the list.

Cyprus has reported 74,174 COVID cases and 378 deaths.