Cyprus will remove Covid testing and isolation restrictions for visitors who have been vaccinated – and others could soon follow suit. Rose Dykins reports

Cyprus has announced that inbound travellers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be exempt from quarantine and Covid testing as of March 2021.

It is the first destination in the world to state that vaccinated travellers will not need to meet other Covid-related entry requirements.

According to the Cyprus Mail, this news was included as part of Cyprus’s action plan for the resumption of flights following the heavy reduction of airline schedules to the destination throughout 2020.

“The amended action plan is expected to further boost the interest of airline companies to carry out additional flights to Cyprus, improve connectivity and increase passenger traffic,” said Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos.

The action plan describes a four-tier safe travel list – replacing the current three-tier system – which will follow the European Centre for Disease Preventions’s guidelines. Passengers who have not had the Covid-19 vaccine will still ned to meet Cyprus’s requirements based on their country of origin.

Currently, UK travellers must present a negative Covid-19 result when they arrive in Cyprus, taken within 72 hours prior to their flight. And when the return to the UK from Cyprus, they must self-isolate for two weeks.

The rise of ‘Vaccine VIPs’

Globetrender predicts that other destinations will also start to waive entry and quarantine restrictions for those how have had the Covid-19 vaccination.

Australia, for example, seems likely to continue its strict stance on entry requirements. Prime minister Scott Morrison has previously said the vaccine should be: “as mandatory as you could possibly make it,” and Australia’s national airline, Qantas has suggested that passengers will need proof of the vaccine before they can step on board next year.

Still, the vaccine is in its early stages of being rolled out. The coming months will be crucial for evaluating how effectively the Covid-19 slows the transmission of the virus domestically.

If this outcome is proved, the vaccine will become a green light for countries to reopen their borders quarantine-free, and for travellers who have been immunised to take the plunge and confidently book their next trips.

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