Brits cancel their holidays to Cyprus due to ‘complicated and expensive’ coronavirus tests


BRITISH families are cancelling their holidays to Cyprus despite being welcomed back this month – as the entry restrictions are too complicated.

Currently, UK travellers must have a negative coronavirus test up to 72 hours before travelling.

Brits are cancelling their holidays to Cyprus due to the confusing entry restrictions

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Brits are cancelling their holidays to Cyprus due to the confusing entry restrictionsCredit: AFP or licensors

However, the NHS does not offer travel-related coronavirus tests, meaning they must be done privately, which can cost up to £200 per person.

Cyprus opened the borders to the UK on August 1, but has not upgraded the country to category A.

As a category B country, this means the negative Covid-19 test is required for all travellers – category A countries have no restrictions.

Sunvil Travel owner Noel Josephides, who offers Cyprus holiday deals, said holidays are being cancelled.

He told the Cyprus Mail: “We had people booking trips to Cyprus in the past months but almost all of them have cancelled their plans.

“In fact, we have close to zero new bookings for this summer. For Britons with family and children, the tests and forms that need to be completed are a nightmare.”

While the country welcomed UK flights on August 1, Brits are still reluctant to return

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While the country welcomed UK flights on August 1, Brits are still reluctant to returnCredit: AFP or licensors

Travel agent Harry Kyrillou agreed, adding the tests “scare British tourists away”. He warned that the year is “completely lost” for tourism.

Jet2 has already cancelled all Cyprus holidays until July 17 due to the strict entry requirements, and could extend this again.

Cyprus is considering performing just one Covid test on each family of holidaymakers, making it drastically cheaper for British tourists.

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Cyprus’ top immunologist Dr Leontios Kostrikis told Sun Online Travel that the government was also seriously considering a proposal made by experts to conduct “pool testing” at airports on the island to help cut costs.

He explained: “Pool testing is a technique used around the world and is scientifically sound and the government is seriously considering it.

“If a family of five were to arrive we would mix all five people together and see the result. It would in effect be the equivalent of one person taking the test, instead of five people taking tests at a cost of €60 each.

“We are trying every possible way without avoiding testing to help cut
prices.”

Hotels could also cover the cost in an attempt to woo tourists back.

Coronavirus cases are spiking across tourist hotspots including Cyprus, as well as Greece.

In Greece, more than 120 new infections have been confirmed, the highest in weeks, while Spain has been removed from the UK safe list after increases over 8,500 over the weekend.

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While new cases in Cyprus remain low, with new cases at 25 which, cases have been rising since July 2 with overall cases at 1,180.

Tourists could be tested several days AFTER they fly into UK to slash quarantine time





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