Cyprus gets rid of required COVID-19 tests for visitors

NICOSIA (AP): Travelers to Cyprus will no longer be required to show either a valid COVID-19 vaccination or a recovery certificate and won’t need to produce a negative recent COVID-19 test of June 1, the Cypriot government said Friday.

The government also decided to abolish a requirement to wear face masks in all indoor areas in Cyprus as of June 1 with the exception of hospitals, nursing homes and other indoor medical facilities.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said the decision to lift COVID-19 screening requirements at airports signals the tourism-reliant island nation is ready to return to normality.

Over 10% of the island’s gross domestic product comes directly from tourism. Authorities are hopeful that a post-pandemic desire for travel will boost arrivals to Cyprus significantly, despite the loss of a significant number of Russian and Ukrainian holidaymakers as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Karousos said the estimate of travelers arriving in Cyprus in May will be more than three-quarters of the same month in 2019, when arrivals hit a record yearly high.

“Not only will we meet the target we had set regarding flight capacity and overall passenger numbers, we will surpass it,” he said.