Holidays in Cyprus have been off limits to Britons despite it being a British favourite. The country is known for its hot weather, affordable food and drink, and stunning scenery. Some of the more well-known regions include Famagusta in the east, Nicosia, Larnaca and the party destination of Ayia Napa.
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But hotels in the popular Ayia Napa have said that they think the holiday season can be “written off”.
Around four million tourists visit Cyprus every year with British nationals making up around a million of those tourists.
Famagusta in the east is known for its stunning beaches and blue ocean waters.
But after being closed during lockdown, they have not seen guests return.
According to local media, the Cyprus Hotel Association said: “2020 can be written off as far as tourism is concerned, particularly in the Famagusta area, where hotels are suffering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of travel restrictions.”
Another local said that some hotels in Ayia Napa have remained closed.
Lakis Avramides, manager of the Ayia Napa and Protaras tourism board, told local media: “It’s difficult to say exactly how many hotels are open because the situation is changing day to day, but right now about 50-55 out of 200 hotels are open.”
But another local questioned whether Britons would return at all.
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Angelos Nicolaou who owns Nelia Gardens in Ayia Napa, said: “Our main markets are Britain and Russia, they account for about 80 percent.
“Brits will supposedly come from August 1, but I see this as unlikely – who will go through all the hassle?”
The Foreign Office (FCO) website says Cyprus is exempt from FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.
However, Britons “cannot enter Cyprus if they have been in the UK in the last 14 days”.
The website reads: “Passengers who have been in the UK, or any other destination not listed in categories A or B, in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Cyprus, even via a third country (e.g. Greece), until further notice.
“The Republic of Cyprus government has indicated that this may change from August 1.”
It added: “The exception to this is legal residents of Cyprus and Cypriot ID holders who will be permitted to enter Cyprus on presentation of proof of residence or Cypriot nationality and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (taken in the 72 hours before departure).
“If you’re a British national travelling from a category A country and have not been in the UK (or any other Category C country in the last 14 days) you will be allowed to enter Cyprus.
“If you’re a British national travelling from a Category B country, and have not been in the UK (or any other Category C country) in the last 14 days, you will also be allowed to enter Cyprus with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (taken in the previous 72 hours).”
The FCO says that the north of Cyprus, known as Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is permitting entry to UK nationals who can present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result (taken in the previous 72 hours) and go into quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
Britons may be able to visit Cyprus from August 1, but tourists will be required to pass a coronavirus test within 72 hours of their arrival.
A statement from the British High Commission Nicosia confirmed: “Cypriot authorities have announced that the UK may enter Cyprus’ B list on August 1, which would mean that passengers from the UK will be able to visit the island from that date onwards, provided they have a negative PCR test [not older than 72hrs] upon entry.”
However, it is yet to be seen whether this will go ahead.
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