Cyprus holidays: when can I travel from UK in 2021, quarantine rules - and will there be Covid vaccine passports?

The country has announced that fully-vaccinated UK tourists can travel there from May

Cyprus is to allow tourists from the UK who have had both their Covid vaccinations to travel to the country without restrictions.

British visitors constitute the biggest market for the island’s tourism industry.

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They made more than a million trips to Cyprus in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.

British tourists make up the largest market for the Cyprus tourism industry (Getty Images)

So, when can I travel to Cyprus, will I have to quarantine, and how will people prove they have been vaccinated?

Here is everything you need to know.

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When can I travel to Cyprus?

The Cypriot government has said those who have been fully vaccinated in the UK will be able to travel to the island from 1 May 2021.

However, Scotland has not yet announced a date for allowing foreign holidays, and it is the same case for Wales and Northern Ireland.

The start of May is also more than two weeks before the earliest date those in England will be permitted to travel abroad on holiday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during his roadmap announcement that the soonest people would be able to get on a plane for leisure was 17 May.

This date is also dependent on strict conditions, such as the progress of the vaccinations rollout and the prevalence of concerning variants of coronavirus.

Will I have to quarantine?

Visitors to Cyprus who have received both their jabs will not need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test or have to quarantine, according to the country’s deputy tourism minister.

Savvas Perdios said the island would allow people from the UK who had been inoculated with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) the right to enter without the need for restrictions.

He said tourists would need to have been given their second dose at least seven days before travelling to Cyprus.

"We have informed the British government that from 1 May we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated... so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine," Mr Perdios told Cyprus News Agency.

Yet authorities in the country will still have the right to carry out random coronavirus tests on people arriving from foreign destinations, he added.

How will people prove they have been vaccinated?

The two vaccines currently being rolled out across the UK - the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Oxford-AstraZeneca - have been approved for use by the EMA.

Moderna’s jab, due to arrive in the UK in spring, has also been approved by the institution.

However, it is not yet apparent how tourists to Cyprus will be required to prove that they have been vaccinated.

Vaccine passports have been discussed by other countries, including Greece, as a way to safely reopen international travel for leisure.

The UK Government has not yet approved any vaccination certificate, but Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is leading a review into possible measures that could be introduced.

Meanwhile, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently suggested that vaccine passports would be worth considering if they could “give us greater normality”.

She said: “Yellow fever certificates exist for travel to some countries, so there may well be scope for vaccination giving you the ability to do certain things that without vaccination you might not be able to do.”

But she added that vaccine protection levels and ethical issues had to be considered before such a policy was introduced.

All adults in the UK are expected to have been offered a dose of the Covid vaccine by the end of July 2021.

What are the current travel restrictions?

International holidays are currently prohibited from Scotland and the other UK nations due to the lockdown, with tight travel bans in place.

Right now, passengers travelling into Scotland from abroad are required to have proof of a negative coronavirus test, taken a maximum of 72 hours before departure.

Passengers with a positive test result, or an invalid certificate, will be refused boarding.

Travellers arriving into Scotland from all countries outside the Common Travel Area (the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) also have to book a stay for 10 days in a quarantine hotel.

The self-isolation costs £1750, which covers the government-sanctioned hotel stay, transport and testing.

People are also not permitted to travel outside their own local authority area unless it is for an essential reason, like work, education, exercise or caring responsibilities.

In Scotland, there is not yet an exact date as to when the guidance will change.