Cyprus: "Vaccinated tourists should not go into quarantine even if they are in contact"

A beach in Cyprus which has decided to reopen its borders to all vaccinated tourists from this Monday, May 10, 2021. AP - Petros Karadjias

Text by: Sophia Khatsenkova

4 min

As of Monday, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus reopens its borders to vaccinated tourists from 65 countries.

A relief for this country whose tourism sector represents 21% of the country's wealth.

But while the island has just emerged from a strict two-week confinement, after an explosion of Covid-19 cases, how is this initiative organized?

RFI asked three questions of Savvios Perdios, Minister of Tourism for Cyprus. 


Read more


: From this Monday, who is authorized to come to Cyprus


How are you going to control all arrivals

Savvios Perdios:

Since April 1, we have been welcoming tourists from over 65 countries including European Union countries, Gulf countries, Lebanon, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, Ukraine , Russia etc.

The entry was made on the basis of tests.

We classified the countries according to their epidemic situation.

Tourists needed to take one or two tests to come to Cyprus. 

The novelty this Monday is that if you are fully vaccinated, you can come to the island without taking a Covid test.

Even vaccinated tourists who are in contact will not have to quarantine.

Arrivals are checked thanks to our digital platform that tourists must complete before their trip.

As soon as they fill in all the requested information, for example their vaccination dates, the type of vaccine, the platform gives them the green light to come to Cyprus.

On their arrival, it is the border police who verify the authenticity of the certificate. 

► Read also: Covid-19: Cyprus opens its borders to vaccinated tourists

We have been using this platform since last year.

This experience taught us two things.

First, once people are tested before they get on a plane, a very small percentage then test positive when they arrive on the island.

Second: very few people tried to abuse the system and even when people tried to cheat for example, we quickly spotted them, fined them and sent them home.

What do you hope for from this initiative


Last year we lost 85% of tourism revenue.

It's enormous.

It was difficult for the locals not to have tourists last year.

The last 15 months have been difficult, but we are delighted to welcome tourists again.

We want to do better than last year, that's the first goal.

Second, we want this year to be a bridge to 2022 which I believe will be the start of the recovery.

Despite all the difficulties, we are optimistic.

Since April 1, we have had quite a few tourists from Israel, Russia, Germany, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Qatar.

We are seeing renewed interest from tourists and the resumption of flights has started.

I am very happy because all the tourist places are open. 

What do you think of the Malta initiative which will give money to tourists (the first to arrive) to come this summer?

Would it be possible to do the same in Cyprus?

I think each country plays on their different competitive advantages.

In our case, our advantage is that we opened our borders to the European Union in March.

We position ourselves as a safe place where everything is open.

I don't think there is a need to use a gift system to entice tourists to come to us. 


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  • Cyprus

  • Tourism

  • Coronavirus

  • Vaccines