Cyprus to open tourism for vaccinated tourists from 65 nations

Nicosia, Cyprus: Cyprus announced Monday that it would open its doors to vaccinated tourists from 65 countries beginning May 10, with visitors not required to take a Covid test or undergo quarantine.

"We will notify our partners in around 65 countries that from 10 May entry will be facilitated for travelers who have completed their vaccination with no need for negative Covid tests or quarantine," Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said.

According to him, countries on the list include Armenia, Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Switzerland.

Cyprus, a member of the European Union, will welcome visitors who have completed their vaccinations, regardless of when they received the second jab.

According to Perdios, the latest initiative would help revitalize the tourism industry, which has been decimated by the pandemic.

Cyprus decided more than a month ago that vaccinated Israeli and British tourists would be allowed to visit the east Mediterranean vacation destination without restriction.

Britain is the island's largest tourist market, accounting for one-third of nearly four million arrivals in 2019, while Israel is the island's third-largest source.

Authorities are waiting for the UK government to decide when Britons will be able to take vacations abroad.

Due to Cyprus's worsening epidemiological results, Russia, the island's second-largest tourist market, has suspended chartered flights until further notice.

"We are confident that once our epidemiological picture improves, charter flights will be allowed, something we expect to happen in the coming weeks as the vaccination rollout progresses," said Perdios.

Cyprus declared a two-week state of emergency on Monday, following a record surge in coronavirus cases.

The pandemic and travel restrictions have ravaged the island's main tourism industry, with arrivals dropping by more than 84 percent last year.

Tourists must also follow health guidelines such as mask wear and social distancing.

Tourism accounts for around 15% of GDP, but earnings are expected to fall by 85% by 2020.

There have been 298 coronavirus deaths and 61,576 infections on the island.

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