Holidays: Cyprus bans holidaymakers while Greece COVID rules relax – new travel advice

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Holidays have faced major disruption amid the coronavirus pandemic. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issue new rules every week. Last week, French Polynesia, Hungary, Portugal (except the Azores and Madeira) and Réunion were removed from the travel corridor list, with Denmark widely expected to be removed today.

Today, the FCDO issued new travel advice for two of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations – Greece and Cyprus.


The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to the islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante) – but the remaining islands and mainland Greece are still on the ‘safe’ list’ for now.

The government advised: “The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante) to leave at this time.

“You should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Contact your travel operator if you have any questions about your return journey.

“If you are returning to England or Northern Ireland from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos (Zante) on or after September 9, you will need to self-isolate on your return.

“If you are returning to Wales from the islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos, Crete, Santorini, Serifos and Tinos you are required to self isolate for 14 days.

“If you are returning to Scotland from Greece, you will need to self-isolate on your return.”

The many regions of Greece all have different local rules in place.

The most recent updates apply to Paros, Antiparos and Attica.

Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues will remain closed from midnight to 7am in following locations: Thessaloniki, East Macedonia and Thrace, Larissa, Corfu, Karditsa, Trikala, Volos, Rethymnon, Paros and Antiparos, Santorini, Rhodes and Kos.

A ban of gatherings of more than 50 people, either indoors and outdoors is also in place.

Local restrictions are also in place in the regions of Attica, which includes the islands of Angistri, Aegina, Hydra, Kythira, Poros, Salamis and Spetses.

These include:

– Mandatory use of face masks in all indoor public spaces;

– Mandatory use of face masks in all indoor work-places;

– Mandatory use of face masks in crowded outdoor areas where minimum social distancing (of 1.5 metres) cannot be maintained, such as in public squares, at bus stops etc.;

– Limits on the capacity of public markets, cinemas and theatres (both indoor and outdoor), and concerts;

– Prohibition of operation of all food/catering sector-related shops, services and facilities from midnight – 7am the next day;

– Prohibition of retail shops opening before 10am (this measure does not apply to food and drink outlets, such as supermarkets, grocery stores and bakeries);

– A limit of four people per table in any restaurant, except for cases where the party consists of family members, where the limit is six people;

– Strong recommendation for the use of face masks by everyone in all outdoor spaces; and, for elderly people only, in indoor spaces.


The FCDO has updated advice on the suspension of arrivals to North Cyprus.

“The authorities in the north of Cyprus have suspended arrivals until September 20, except for Turkish-Cypriots and their dependants,” stated the Foreign Office.

“Outbound flights are expected to continue to operate but you should consult your airline directly for more information.”

The rest of Cyprus also has strict entry rules in place.

The FCDO explained: “As of August 1, 2020, the UK is in Cyprus’ Category B: this means that tourists are permitted to travel to Cyprus, but they need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival, obtained within 72 hours before travel.

“On 31 July 2020, The Republic of Cyprus government announced that test results can be in the form of an email or SMS, but the result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken. Children under 12 years old do not require to be tested in order to travel to Cyprus.”

The authority continued: “All travellers to Cyprus must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before travelling, available on the Cyprus Flight Pass website.

“You will be responsible for ensuring your PCR test result is uploaded to Cyprus Flight Pass within 24 hours of your departure. If you need to provide your appointment letter you can upload both documents in a single photo.

“In addition to obtaining the Cyprus Flight Pass, passengers are required to carry with them, in hard copy or electronically, copies of these documents. You will be asked to present your flight pass prior to boarding and on arrival at immigration.”

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