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25 September, 2020
 
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British tourists still in the doghouse

Cypriot expert says UK belongs in category B 'at best' until numbers improve, new data soon

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A Cypriot health expert says the United Kingdom could make it into the high risk category at best, as Britain prepares to create “air bridges” that would depend largely on coronavirus infections going down.

Petros Karayiannis, a microbiology professor on the government’s coronavirus task force, told the Cyprus News Agency that currently there are problems in the United Kingdom due to a rise in coronavirus cases as well as partial lockdowns in that country.

“If there is wide spread in the UK, then it would be difficult to allow the country even into the second category,” Karayiannis said, adding that revised numbers were expected in the coming days.

Foreign Office’s advice against all but international essential travel is currently under revision, while Cypriot officials hinted at opening up to British arrivals around in mid-July

According to British media, the Foreign Office’s advice against all but international essential travel is currently under revision, while Cypriot officials hinted at opening up to British arrivals sometime around in mid-July.

But Karayiannis warned that many known confirmed cases popping up in the Republic of Cyprus are seen among passengers every couple of days from people who begin their journey in third (Category C) countries.

Asked to respond to Cypriot tourism minister’s comments last week regarding a possible mid-July reopening for British flights, Karayiannis said it would be helpful to have an exact date so that appropriate steps can be taken by all involved.

“If the country gets included in Category B (high risk), then we could accept travelers who show a health certificate,” Karayiannis said.

Under category B, everyone flying to the Republic of Cyprus including transit passengers and British tourists, would need to have a PCR test done 72 hours prior to landing on the island.

No tests are needed for passengers from Category A (low risk) countries in the Republic of Cyprus in the south, while Turkish Cypriot authorities in the north have imposed a mandatory no-exceptions PCR test for the same low-risk category.

The United Kingdom is currently in category C on both sides of the divided island.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  United Kingdom  |  Britain  |  travel  |  tourism  |  coronavirus  |  Karayiannis  |  public health

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