Foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against COIVD-19 will be able to roam free in the Republic of Cyprus, according to new measures expected to go into effect Monday, with the only requirement being a simple download or printout of their CyprusFlightPass.
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios made it official this week, saying all pending issues on re-opening the island as a travel destination have been resolved.
The minister, who has been on an uphill battle since last year to bring tourists safely back to Cyprus, said foreign visitors will be able to travel through the Republic only on just one valid document, either downloaded to their phone or printed on paper.
Perdios was referring to the Cyprus Flight Pass, where visitors coming to Cyprus enter their information online, with the minister saying “the wheels are turning” based on the latest indications in recent weeks.
Last month, a movement declaration for tourists was a source of confusion after the health ministry disagreed with the tourism ministry and said all rules including SMS notifications applied to all, with industry stakeholders doing damage control to clarify that visitors would not have to send text notifications before going out.
Perdios said he expected a Russian ban on charter flights to Cyprus to be lifted within days, while starting Monday, tourists vaccinated with SputnikV will also be allowed to roam free on the island
But as the third lockdown is set to expire this weekend, and no SMS required by anyone starting on Monday, Perdios said tour operators abroad had all the necessary information concerning the restart of the tourism industry, adding that travel from Russia and Israel were on the up.
“I believe they will reach satisfactory levels this year,” Perdios said, adding that charter flights were also starting next week from Scandinavian countries.
As for British tourists coming to the island, Perdios said the Cypriot government did everything it could and it was now up to the authorities in the UK to take decisions.
The minister also spoke about financial incentives for foreign tour operators based on a number of criteria, including agents who would commit between June and September to a “minimum of seven thousand overnight stays in lawful lodging accommodations.”
Starting Monday, tourists vaccinated with the Russian SputnikV jab will also be allowed to roam free on the island, adding to other visitors who chose to get an EMA-approved shot, the minister said.
Essentially this meant Russian tourists who got the SputnikV vaccine would be treated similarly to visitors coming from low risk countries under the Green category, that is, without submitting a negative diagnostic test. An official list of countries and categories can be found here.
Perdios acknowledged a Russian ban on charter flights to the Republic of Cyprus was bad but he appeared upbeat about the issue, saying the prohibition was a matter expected to be resolved in just a few days.
Vaccinated tourists will only need to use their Cyprus Flight Pass to move about freely, as plans to introduce on Monday a CoronaPass for locals does not apply to foreign visitors.