Can you still travel to Cyprus from the UK? The rules for travel have changed and Cyprus has now been removed from the travel corridor. What does that mean for your holiday?
This is what you need to know. Updated 29th October 2020. View previous post
Can I still travel to Cyprus?
Yes you can BUT you need to follow the rules and be aware of the restrictions.
- Cyprus Government rules – You will need to have a Covid test 72 hours before travel, which must be negative
- UK Government rules – You will need to Self Isolate on your return to the UK for 14 days
- Your travel insurance will not be valid as you are travelling against FCO advice
Cyprus Health Ministry has its own travel advice for passengers. What are the rules? Will you still be taking your trip?
What are the rules for entry into Cyprus?
Cyprus places each country into a Category, based on analysis of Epidemiological data. This information is up to date – Countries in the Categories are revised weekly. You can find the list of Categories and Countries here and I will update accordingly. The UK are currently in Category B.
Category A: Passengers flying from Countries in Category A have no restrictions when entering Cyprus. Countries in category A include Greece, Austria and Germany. The restriction also means that you must have been in a country on the list for the previous 14 days. So you can’t spend a week in Greece, then fly to Cyprus.
Category B: Passengers flying from Countries in Category B are required to have a PCR test done at the source country, 72 hours prior to travel. The PCR test certificate will be requested prior to aircraft boarding, and should also be shown at border control at the destination.
Category C: All Countries not in Category A or B fall into Category C and are not allowed into Cyprus.
The UK is in Category B.
A Cyprus Flight pass must also be completed and the COVID Certificate uploaded 24 hours before travel, have a look at the Cyprus flight pass here. Cyprus have introduced a fine of 300 euros for non compliance, due to the number of passengers arriving without doing this.
You can see this information here on the government website. You can also set alerts for when the information is updated.
Important information on the Covid Tests
You need to get the tests done and complete the Cyprus flight pass which includes uploading your test results. The test must be done no more than 72 hours before travel, the test must produce a certificate. This certificate must be uploaded 24 hours before travel. Get your calendar out – we flew on a Sunday at 11.30am. This means we needed to have the test on the Thursday morning, with the negative result / certificate back Saturday morning.
We went in August when you could book an NHS test for travel by ticking the ‘other’ box in reason for test. We all had our NHS tests done on the Thursday. All of the results except for one were back by Friday evening. The final one came back 4.30am Saturday morning. All negative.
The most important part here (apart from a negative result!) is that the test must show the date and time of the test. And this must be uploaded onto the Cyprus flight pass.
NHS test results do not show the date and time. So you need to keep your appointment confirmation as evidence. Home tests DO NOT give you date and time so would not be acceptable.
How do you get a Covid-19 test with the date and time?
Although NHS tests are acceptable for the Cyprus Flight Pass, it is unlikely that you will be able to book one without symptoms/ valid reason. The results for NHS testing now come back in 48-72 hours so that’s a very stressful wait if you NEED that back for flying. I have just had one as a work colleague tested positive and the results (negative) took 60 hours, another colleagues results were back in 50 hours but the results were ‘inconclusive’ – he has to do another test, but if you were relying on this then you would not be going on holiday.
If you are using the NHS testing centres then you must book an appointment for your test. You will get an appointment confirmation, showing the date and time. Keep this. When you get your results you need to take a picture of the appointment confirmation and the results together on one page. The Cyprus Flight Pass only allows you to upload one attachment.
Avoid Home testing kits for the following reasons
- You do not get the necessary appointment date / time info
- More chance that you will not get the results back in time
- Doing that test on yourself is not easy – best allow a professional to do it properly.
Using a private clinic for a Covid test.
There are many options or a fast turnaround private Covid test. Google or get on a Cyprus Facebook group and ask for recommendations.
The cost is between £90 and £250 for same day results.
If you are using a private clinic for the tests DOUBLE CHECK when booking that the results give you the date and time of test. Some don’t (or charge extra)
What else do you need to bear in mind?
So say you manage to get the tests done the required 72 hours before, and they are negative and uploaded in your flight pass and you fly to Cyprus. That’s not the end of it.
Cyprus are carrying out random Covid-19 tests at the airport.
Your negative test was done 72 hours before and you may well get tested on arrival. What happens if one of your party test positive?
If one of your party tests positive then the Cyprus Government will wizz you off to a special hotel where you have to stay for 14 days. This will be paid for by the Cyprus Government.
Before you say ‘that sounds great!’, you are not being given a 14 day all inclusive holiday. You are all taken to a hotel where you have your rooms (with a balcony probably). Your meals will be delivered to your room. That’s where you stay. You will not be mixing with other guests around the pool etc. You have to arrange and pay for your own flights home after the 14 days.
What if your Covid-19 test is positive before you travel?
Think about what happens if one of you tests positive before you travel? Or the test result is ‘inconclusive’ , which is happening. Are you going to go away without that person? If you live with them then you will not be able to travel anyway.
I read you can get a free test done at the Airport in Cyprus.
There are discussions in Cyprus with the Cyprus Government and Hoteliers where they are proposing to allow testing at the Airport funded 50/50 by the Cyprus Government and Hoteliers. This has not been confirmed yet, plus this would only be available to travellers staying in hotels. Not private villas or apartments.
Testing is available at Larnaca and Paphos airports for passengers from Countries in Category B ‘Where no test is available in the country of origin’. As there is testing available here (albeit limited and expensive). We are not eligible for testing on arrival at Cyprus airports.
What if you have a holiday booked to Cyprus?
This is where the UK Governments traffic light system totally fails us. When Cyprus was in the green category it meant your holiday could go ahead.
As we have seen, your holiday cannot really go ahead easily BUT some holiday companies and Airlines were not cancelling the holidays and flights meaning they did not have to refund you.
Now Cyprus has been removed from the travel corridor and the FCO advice is not to travel. Your holiday can be cancelled and you would be entitled to a full refund.
If you decide to travel to Cyprus now (against FCO advice) this means your Travel Insurance will not be valid.
Why book a holiday to Cyprus
We love Cyprus, it’s our second home, where our hearts are. Taz’s Mum and Dad live there and we go over a couple of times a year. The weather is perfect, the people are wonderful and the food is unmissable.
You may have seen us on ‘A Place in the Sun’ looking for a holiday home around Protaras. I cried and Taz danced and we found the perfect place for us – at a bargain price.
Visiting Cyprus does not have to be expensive. We go at Easter and spend 10 days there, to make the most of our days off work. Have a read of how we spend 9 nights in Pernera for less than £650.
When we visit in the Summer we can either fly British Airways Business Class to Larnaca for £50. Yes £50 each in peak summer, which includes fast track through security, lounge access and easy, cheap cancellation. Or we fly economy to Cyprus for £35 or £1 depending on how many Air Miles we have.
This year we already had our flights and villa booked, then a month ago we added all our kids for a big family holiday. All booked with free cancellation / vouchers so we don’t lose money. We were featured in a BBC article – ‘Summer Holidays, we are not really going anywhere’, have a read in this post how we booked our Summer Holiday with no risk of losing our money and How to book a refundable holiday abroad.
More useful information
Have a look around our site, we have plenty of ideas to help you Spend Smarter and Travel Smarter including:
- Flight delays and cancellations need to knows
- How to get at least 5% cashback On most of your spending
- Weekend away without going anywhere Daft and fun, give it a try
- Turn £1 into £100s Start with a free share and get yourself free shares
- Compare cashback with CashbackAngel Compares Cashback rates and Airmiles
- Self catering packing guide Get organise and save money
- How much holiday spending money do you really need? You’ll be suprised
- How to have the happiest holiday. Mind tricks to boost your holiday happiness
Do you know where you stand with bookings, cancellations and refunds? Have a read of our how to get a refund for your cancelled holiday guide.
We may have a holiday at home, have a look at our video. How to have a weekend away, at home. Money saving and great fun. Yes you have to be a bit daft to do it but no point moping – make some #SmallJoy.
Have your travel plans been disrupted? What have you been able to re-arrange? Let us know in the comments. Also share any Cyprus information here to help others – has your holiday been cancelled? Who are you travelling with?
Spend Smarter, Travel Smarter and Live Smarter.
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