Travel latest news: Cyprus and Seychelles confirm reopening dates for Britons

Cyprus has confirmed it will reopen to tourists who have been fully inoculated against Covid-19 from May 1, while the Seychelles has said it welcome all visitors from March 25, irrespective of their vaccination status.

British holidaymakers are the largest visitor market for Cyprus and it is the first European country to confirm it will waive other restrictions for Britons who have received both doses of an approved vaccine – however, May 17 is the earliest UK travellers will be permitted to take foreign holidays under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

“We have informed the British government that from May 1 we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated … so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine,” deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios told the Cyprus News Agency.

Sun-starved Britons will also find optimism in the Seychelles announcement that as of March 25 quarantine requirements will be waived for all visitors (except those from South Africa due to the Covid variant first detected there) with a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure, the only remaining condition of entry.

Sylvestre Radegonde, the Seychelles’ minister for foreign affairs and tourism, said on Thursday: “We have now arrived at the point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery. The measures being announced reflect broadly the recommendation of our tourism partners and have been done in full consultation with and the endorsement of our health authorities.”

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Scrap travel corridors for widespread testing, says industry campaign

The government should scrap the travel corridor regime that oversaw holidays last summer and replace it with a broader, more rigorous testing of passengers, according to the Save Our Summer campaign.

Nine in ten respondents to a new SOS survey of nearly 400 of the travel firms supporting the campaign said they did not want to see the same arrangements in place this summer, reports travel publication TTG.

The government’s travel corridor regime caused disruption for passengers and travel companies as countries were moved on and of the s were rolled on and off list, often at short notice.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy the PC Agency and co-founder of SOS, said:

Firms across travel and tourism are united in calling for the government to introduce widespread testing for arrivals instead, even if it means extra costs. This would enable travel to seamlessly start up safely and responsibly, in the same way schools are doing.

Seychelles: reopening is the next step for economic recovery

The Seychelles has announced that it will be welcoming visitors from across the world, irrespective of their vaccination status, as from March 25, 2021.

The contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s GDP is around 65 per cent.

The Seychelles will reopen to all visitors from March 25

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These are the remaining restrictions after March 25:

  • Visitors will now only be required to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure
  • There will be no quarantine requirement nor restriction on movement upon entry into Seychelles
  • Additionally, the minimum stay in establishments upon arrival will no longer be applicable

Sylvestre Radegonde, the Seychelles’ minister for foreign affairs and tourism, said on Thursday:

The vaccination campaign has been quite successful. The government has done everything in its power to make sure that the population is protected. We have now arrived at the point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery. The measures being announced reflect broadly the recommendation of our tourism partners and have been done in full consultation with and the endorsement of our health authorities.

Staycation prices a third higher in holiday hotspots this year

The cost of staycations could be a third higher this year as British tourists look to have their first post-pandemic holidays.

A snapshot investigation by consumer group Which? showed that the cost of holiday lets in some of the UK’s most popular seaside locations had risen by a third on average, while some had soared even higher.

There have been warnings that, with foreign holidays off the table for many, there will be unprecedented demand for UK trips this summer, pushing prices up.

The Which? research tracked prices of 15 holiday lets listed on Airbnb and Vrbo for last summer when booked in May and June and compared them to the amount charged in February for this summer.

It found the price of one let in Brighton had soared by 140 per cent, from £53 a night to £127, with the average increase being 35 per cent.

Read the full story.

What happened yesterday?

The main headlines from Thursday:

  • Bookings soar for Spanish holidays
  • British Airways launches rapid-result Covid tests
  • Ryanair promises year of low prices to boost holiday revival
  • ‘Measures may not be enough’: Travel bosses react to yesterday’s budget announcement
  • Greece tightens travel restrictions
  • Italian ski resorts come to terms with a lost winter ski season
  • Hancock optimistic for ‘great British summer’
  • Seychelles to reopen this month

Now onto today’s news.