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COVID19: UK keeps Cyprus on amber travel list

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The UK has kept Cyprus on its amber travel list, allowing fully vaccinated Cypriot students studying in the UK to settle back into university life without having to quarantine under COVID-19 restrictions.

UK government health advisors decided to keep the Mediterranean island in amber, which means that people entering the country from Cyprus will not have to undergo a ten-day quarantine but will only need to take a PCR test before departure and on the second day of their arrival.

This comes as a relief to some 8,000 Cypriot students carrying out their studies in the UK.

The decision is also a welcomed development by tourism stakeholders, as Britons will continue to be allowed to fly in for a summer getaway without having to quarantine on their return.

Travelling to the UK from the island will require a PCR test within the three days leading up to the trip and another no later than two days after the arrival.

According to Financial Mirror sources, PCR tests prices in the UK have now dropped to as low as £40 from £200 a few months back.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, Noel Josephides, former chairman of the association of independent tour operators (AITO), said the UK’s decision would help boost tour operators efforts to channel British tourists to the island.

There were fears that a stubbornly high number of infections would see the UK put Cyprus in the dreaded red zone, but its relatively high vaccination rate (one jab) of over 77% has probably saved the day.

The UK applies a complex method of categorising countries, taking into account, apart from the number of cases, the number of hospitalisations, the death ratio, and the vaccination rate of the country.

Cyprus on Thursday reported five deaths and 254 new cases.

Health authorities have brought cases down from a record four-digit number in mid-July to the low hundred in August.

So far, the island has reported 112,532 COVID-19 cases and 491 deaths.

The UK will add Thailand and Montenegro to its “red list” of destinations that require travellers to quarantine in a hotel on their return.

Canada, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the Azores will be added to England’s “green list” of safe places without requiring quarantine on return.