It has been a long road since March 2020 but there is new optimism with the vaccinations now rolling out across many countries and results clear to see. Let's hope the rest of the world can catch up soon.
Here in Cyprus last summer the situation was much better than expected and with almost zero cases it was seen as one of the safest destinations from June onwards. After a lengthy lockdown the country started to open up again form the middle of May 2020 and had done a great job in almost eradicating cases on the island. Unfortunately during early November there was a spike in cases and Cyprus locked down again for much of the winter as it did in the spring of 2020. But we did at least see tourists from June until the end of October.
This year has seen Cyprus go between lockdown to almost fully reopening again and back into a short lockdown again from April 25th until 10th May. The lockdown and following actions we believe will get us somewhere back towards normal. From the 10th Cyprus will reopen again in full with certain restrictions on locals. You will have to be vaccinated or tested every 3 days to go to work or be allowed to go into shops and restaurants etc. This will make people feel safer and reduce transmission. Vaccinations in Cyprus have accelerated to a point where people aged from 30 upwards will soon be able to get vaccinated.
Over a quarter of the population have now received a first dose and that is planned to be 65% by June ! On average 55,000 people here are tested every day in a population of only 850,000.
Numbers of cases and deaths in Cyprus are also comparably small and protocols continue to be in place.
This is all encouraging news for this summer and countries are already opening up for travel to Cyprus with Russia starting to fly here from the 1st May. Cyprus itself has just announced that over 65 countries will be allowed to enter from May 1st. There will be a traffic light system in place with Green, Orange, Red and Grey categories for each country.
Green - vaccinated persons can enter with no testing required.
Orange - PCR test within 72 hours of arrival and no quarantine.
Red - PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, a test on arrival and no quarantine.
Grey - not allowed to travel without special permission and a quarantine period.
The UK has just been put into the Orange category and Cyprus is hoping that it will be one of the countries given the green light when the travel restrictions are announced from the 17th May by the UK Government. In any case with the small population in Cyprus and the planned numbers of vaccinations we see the situation only improving and very quickly by June.
So for travel in general we see a positive improvement in people wanting to visit Cyprus in 2021, and as last year those that want a holiday and diving in the sun will either be vaccinated or get the test done to travel.