Cyprus to welcome vaccinated British tourists from May 1

Cyprus has said it will open its borders to vaccinated Britons from early May – although UK government restrictions on overseas travel are still in place.

At first, a million people in the UK received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and the Cypriot government said those who received both vaccines could travel without restrictions from May 1.

However, the date set by Cyprus to open its borders to the British is still more than two weeks before the first inhabitants of England can leave the country for a holiday.

This comes from the fact that the analysis found that prices for beachfront accommodation have increased by an average of 35% this summer compared to last year, due to an increase in demand for stays.

The study by consumer group Which ones? said prices had increased in 10 of the UK’s most visited seaside destinations, including St Ives, Whitby, Llandudno and Brighton.

Cypriot Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said the country would allow Britons who had received vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency the right to enter without needing a negative test or quarantine .

Tourists should have received their second dose no later than seven days before travel, the minister added.


First doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK (PA Graphics)

Cyprus already has a similar deal allowing Israeli tourists to enter the country from April 1.

But overseas leisure travel will still be banned for people in England in early May, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the first Britons could fly is May 17.

It depends on various factors related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as vaccine deployments and the prevalence of Covid-19 variants.

Stays could start more than a month earlier, with people in England potentially being allowed to stay in self-contained accommodation such as vacation rentals from April 12 under Mr Johnson’s roadmap to relax lock restrictions.

This has led many people to choose to plan a vacation at home, which has made them more expensive.


A property in Brighton had a significant mark-up (Kirsty O’Connor / PA)

Researchers of whom? reviewed prices for a total of 15 properties on the Airbnb and Vrbo accommodation booking platforms.

The cost of stays in July and August is generally 35% higher now than if the equivalent dates from last summer had been booked in May and June 2020.

A one bedroom maisonette in Brighton has the biggest markup, going from £ 53 per night to £ 127 per night.

The cost of a weeklong stay at a property in Llandudno has dropped from £ 427 to £ 596, while seven nights at a property in St Ives has dropped from £ 860 to £ 1,263.

Some price increases have been more modest, with a one-bedroom cottage in Scarborough just 7% more expensive this summer.

Strong demand has pushed up prices in some destinationsRory Boland, editor-in-chief of Which? To travel

Airbnb called the analysis “misleading” and said research has shown customers to rate the company as more affordable than other accommodation options.

Vrbo said it “does not set, change or influence the prices of property chosen by a host,” adding that vacationers accept the prices before booking.

Rory Boland, editor-in-chief of Which? Travel, said: “Many vacationers are looking forward to finally getting to sea this summer, so it is perhaps not surprising that high demand has also pushed up prices for some destinations.”

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