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Cyprus brings back mask mandate after just one month following surge in COVID cases

The shores of Cyprus.
The shores of Cyprus.   -   Copyright  Canva
By Eve Hebron

Cyprus has brought back face masks just one month after dropping the COVID rule. 

Its health ministry announced on Wednesday that tourists will once again have to wear face masks indoors. 

The country opened up its borders and removed all entry restrictions in April, when tourists flocked back to the beautiful island for their Easter holidays. It removed the requirement for masks on 1 June - the last restriction in place from the pandemic. 

But the measure has been reintroduced after a surge in COVID infections. For the week ending 1 July, Cyprus reported a total of 10,879 new cases. 

A spike in hospital admissions and people not taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus were among the factors that contributed to the decision, according to Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela.

A favourite with British holidaymakers due to its world-renowned beaches and blue skies, the island’s tourism sector has suffered huge losses over the past two years. The rise in COVID-19 cases and reintroduction of the mask mandate comes just as the summer tourist rush is set to begin. 

Tourism directly accounts for around 13 per cent of the country’s GDP, and with the significant loss of Russian and Ukrainian tourists this year, it is looking to strengthen links to other countries.

In full, here’s how Cyprus’s COVID rules have changed.

Are there any restrictions left in Cyprus?

Since closing its borders just over two years ago, Cyprus has fully reopened to tourists and visitors - just in time for summer.

The country’s traffic light system of red, green and grey lists for different nations has been removed.

Travellers are no longer required to complete the Cyprus Flight Pass - the passenger locator form previously used to trace positive cases in the country.

After being removed in June, a mask mandate has just been reintroduced. It means tourists will have to wear a mask indoors from 8 July or face a €300 fine.

Canva
Restaurants in Cyprus have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.Canva

Can unvaccinated tourists enter Cyprus?

Yes. All travellers, irrespective of their country of origin, are no longer required to show a valid vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery from coronavirus or a negative PCR or rapid antigen test from 1 June.

Cyprus' Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said the decision meant a return to normality as regards travel.

You can find out more information about Cyprus’ full list of travel rules and how they have changed on the Visit Cyprus site.