Welcome to Cyprus 2021

UK vaccine rollout

With so much uncertainty around international travel since the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s refreshing to have a clear message from the Cyprus Government. Recognising the undoubted success of the UK’s vaccination rollout, Cyprus has set out its stall early in an effort to encourage British tourists to visit the island.

UK visitors can normally count on a warm Cypriot welcome, but after last year’s disastrous holiday season, expect to receive an even warmer reception in summer 2021.

Vaccinated Brits

As far as Cyprus is concerned, British visitors will be welcome from May 1st 2021.

The UK Government, however, has stated that the earliest date that travel can resume will not be until May 17th.

Cyprus promises no additional entry requirements for UK travellers who have received their second dose of an approved vaccine at least a week prior to arrival. For those who have only had their first jab, or not been vaccinated – as last year – a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure will be required.

Authorities are currently working on a ‘vaccination passport’ system to verify vaccination status.

What makes Cyprus a Covid safe destination?

Throughout the pandemic, the Cyprus Government has received plaudits for their early adoption of strict control measures.

As an island nation, it was relatively straightforward to limit 2020 visitors according to departure country. These were categorised as red, amber and green according to their infection rates, with differing requirements for each. Arrival rules were reviewed every two weeks throughout the summer.

Local lockdowns required prior permission via text message to leave home for a limited range of reasons and time period, along with night time curfews and travel restrictions. Social distancing, capacity limits for shops and restaurants, mask wearing, sanitiser, quarantine, and other Covid protocols were compulsory – with no exceptions. Compliance was ensured via a combination of draconian fines and high visibility policing.

And despite tourism being a major income earner for the island, this was sacrificed, rather than risk residents’ safety. Tourism revenue dropped by a massive 85% last season, as travel from the UK was only allowed from August 1st, and even then only on the proviso that visitors presented a negative PCR test certificate. Random arriving flights were also selected for mass testing, to ensure that these measures were effective.

As a result of these strict protocols, Cyprus is able to claim a good record on controlling the virus. By Thursday, there had been just 36,004 infections and 232 deaths since the pandemic started. At the time of writing, Cyprus is vaccinating their age 69+ residents, while the UK is vaccinating age 56+. Visitors should also find it reassuring that the Cypriot authorities have introduced widespread testing, with almost all local residents obliged to take a rapid antigen test once a week – the European Union leader in spot tests per person.

Covid 19 Coronavirus

Coronavirus epidemic

This is an open letter to all guests who have a booking with us for summer 2020 regarding the covid 19 coronavirus crisis.

Under normal circumstances we pride ourselves about keeping information on this website updated, but as you will appreciate, this rapidly-changing situation is impossible to predict. We are very much hoping that the current lockdowns around the globe will control the spread of this virulent pandemic, and that medical advances will enable us to return to ‘normal living’ sooner rather than later.

In common with many holiday destinations, Cyprus relies heavily on its tourism industry. Renowned for traditional Cypriot hospitality, no doubt when it is finally deemed safe for travel to the island to resume, visitors will receive an even more hearty and warm welcome than usual.

Having moved our own visits to Pissouri Bay twice due to newly-introduced travel restrictions, we are keen to get out there to prepare the villa for the season which we would normally be doing now (March). Time will tell whether we will be able to do this as currently planned (now rescheduled for May). We are trying to ignore the harbingers of doom and gloom, and to look at this optimistically.

Ampeli Villa, Pissouri Bay, Cyprus

New For 2020

We were actually very excited about the forthcoming season. Firstly we have a lovely new manager – Lisa – who provides a meet-and-greet service which is something we haven’t offered before. As always we have made some improvements to our facilities – this time we have a larger TV ready to ship and new indoor dining chairs on order. We hope that you will have the chance to experience them!

While we have every intention of honouring our existing bookings this season, unfortunately at this stage we cannot make any guarantees.

We know how important your holiday is, and appreciate that pre-planning is a key element of this. If at all possible, please could we ask you to delay making any changes to your booking until two months before departure as this is when your final balance is due. At this stage if we should need to cancel your stay – due to continuing circumstances beyond our control – the following options will be available:

Alter Your Dates of Stay

If you would prefer to reschedule your stay, we could apply your booking deposit to alternative available dates in the next 12 months.

Travel insurance

Cancellation

You should be entitled to a cancellation refund via your travel insurance. We have already provided formal payment receipts and correspondence as confirmation, and our booking terms can be printed off from the guest-only password-protected booking page of the website. Should you require us to forward anything again, or any further documentation for your insurance company, just let us know.

July Update

The latest UK government travel advice for Cyprus can be seen on the FCO website. Cyprus is one of the UK’s air-bridge partners, where there is no 14-day quarantine on return to the UK.

Because the Cyprus government introduced an early and strict lockdown, their Covid-19 figures are remarkably low. It is one of the safest holiday destinations.

A Cyprus Flight Pass needs to be presented for each passenger before boarding in the UK. This can be obtained via Cyprus Flight Pass. The Cyprus government has categorised departure countries on the basis of Covid-19 status. The UK is currently unlisted, meaning it is in category C. Entry from category C countries is not allowed, except in special circumstances. This is reviewed every Monday, with a variety of reliable sources including The Cyprus Mail reporting that providing our figures continue to reduce, the UK will be granted category B status on 1 August.

The other requirement for visitors from category B countries is a negative PCR swab test result taken within 72 hours of flying. As this is not currently available in the UK, Cyprus has set up swab testing at Larnaca and Paphos airports for a subsidised €60 fee. Self-isolation is then required until the results of your test (normally 24 h).

Temperatures of incoming passengers are also being taken at the airports on arrival.

Bars, restaurants and shops are open, with social distancing and careful cleaning protocols. Previous visitors to Pissouri Bay will be aware that the beach is never crowded in a way that you see at other destinations.

On a Personal Note

The health, safety and well-being of our guests are of paramount importance above every other consideration.

We hope that you think we are acting fairly in these extremely challenging circumstances. This will be a difficult season for us, as it will for many of our Pissouri friends.

We know your long-anticipated precious holiday is a vital chance to recharge your batteries. We will only cancel if the ongoing coronavirus situation forces us to.

Please bear in mind, too, from our perspective that if we have to cancel any bookings, our small business will take a considerable loss – as we will still need to pay our manager, pool man, gardeners, utilities, mortgage, common expenses and taxes.

Stay safe, and best wishes

Nikki and Peter