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Following the announcement by Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps on Thursday evening, Cyprus is now no longer on the UK travel corridor list. As a result, all arrivals returning into the UK from Cyprus as of 4am an Saturday will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
The news comes as a blow to newly relaunched Thomas Cook, which made its a comeback as an online-only travel company on September 16.
The travel agency vowed to be a “covid-ready” holiday provider, which means it only sells holidays to destinations which are on the Government’s quarantine-free travel list.
As a result, the travel agent has cancelled all of its planned holidays to Cyprus just weeks after launching them.
Thomas Cook says that it has also “committed to providing flexibility to customers affected by the changes to the rules”.
Furthermore, the travel agent vows to prove refunds within 14 days of a holiday being cancelled.
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: “Cyprus has been one of our most popular destinations since our re-launch, and it’s a shame holidaymakers will not be to enjoy this beautiful island for the time being.
“We are in touch with customers who are due to travel to Cyprus in the next couple of weeks, to offer to move their holiday elsewhere or postpone it to a later date.
“We are also contacting all of our customers already enjoying their holidays in Cyprus to offer our support and advice about what their next steps might be.
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“If any other customers who have booked a holiday to Cyprus want to discuss their options, please give us a call or drop us a chat and our team will be happy to help.”
The decision to remove Cyprus’ travel corridor came following a sudden surge in positive coronavirus cases in the country.
In a tweet, Grant Shapps stated: “TRAVEL CORRIDOR UPDATE: We are REMOVING CYPRUS and LITHUANIA from the #TravelCorridor list.
“From 4am Sunday 1st November, if you arrive into the UK from these destinations you will need to self-isolate.”
The latest figures exceed the Government’s current threshold for allowing quarantine-free travel to a destination.
Previously, the UK was using a threshold of 20 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the population over a seven day period.
They recently amended this threshold to 100 cases, however, it made little difference in helping Cyprus maintain its travel links.
For Cyprus, there were 192.6 recorded cases of the virus per 100,000 of the population over the previous seven day period.
Surprisingly, this is more than the UK, which over the same period saw 431.6 cases.
Impacted holidaymakers who booked via Thomas Cook should receive a phone call from the team, however, they are also available to contact on their website.
The website states: “We’re always on hand to answer any queries via Live Chat from 10am to 10pm every day whether you need advice or help.”
Currently, the travel agent is selling holidays to quarantine-free destinations including The Canary Islands, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Greece, Madeira and Sweden.
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