“We are continually reviewing our holiday programme and cancellations in line with the Government updates every three weeks, with the next update expected on the 15th July.”
If your booking is cancelled you should be contacted by the company.
“All customers impacted by the latest cancellations will be contacted directly and will be able to request a full cash refund, or to change to a later date or alternative holiday and receive a booking incentive,” the travel provider said.
“If we need to cancel any future holidays because of updated Government guidance, or as a result of reviewing our holiday programmes, we will be in touch directly and aim to advise customers at least seven days in advance.
“We would like to thank our customers for their understanding at this time.”
Hundreds of firefighters and several firefighting planes deployed as fire rages for a second day in Troodos mountains.
Four people have been found dead as a huge fire raged for a second day in Cyprus, razing tracts of forest in a blaze one official called the worst on record.
The blaze, fanned by strong winds, affected at least 10 communities over an area of 50 square km (19 square miles) and destroyed several homes in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, an area of pine forest and densely vegetated shrubland.
The victims, thought to be Egyptian nationals and agricultural workers, were found dead close to Odou, a mountainous community north of the cities of Limassol and Larnaca.
“All indications point to it being the four persons who were missing since yesterday,” Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Sunday.
“We are experiencing the most destructive fire since the founding of the Cyprus republic in both material damage, but also unfortunately in terms of human lives,” Nouris said.
Nouris said firefighting aircraft and ground crews are focusing their efforts on two massive fire fronts between the villages of Odou and Vavatsinia. He said authorities are “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll make progress in beating back the flames, but strong wings expected later in the day could hamper efforts.
He said 36 people who had been evacuated from their homes have been taken to hotels in the capital, Nicosia, while food and water is being supplied to Melini village residents.
Hundreds of firefighters and 11 firefighting planes have been fighting to stop the blaze, the state radio broadcaster RIK reported.
The European Union’s executive institution, the European Commission, said firefighting planes had departed from Greece to battle the fire. Italy and Israel are also reportedly deploying aerial firefighters to help Cyprus.
The EU’s emergency Copernicus satellite was also activated to provide damage assessment maps of the affected areas, the Commission said in a statement.
“It is the worst forest fire in the history of Cyprus,” Forestries Department Director Charalambos Alexandrou told Cyprus’s Omega TV.
Attempts were being made to prevent the blaze from crossing the mountains and stop it before reaching Machairas, a pine forestland and one of the highest peaks in Cyprus.
The cause of the fire, which started about midday on Saturday, was unclear. Cyprus experiences high temperatures and drought in the summer months, with temperatures in recent days exceeding 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Police said they were questioning a 67-year-old person in connection with the blaze.
Cyprus: An explainer on why the country is divided
It attracted more than 1.3 million UK visitors in 2019 – a third of the total tourists – and with international travel poised to restart, it’s sure to be in high demand this summer and beyond whenever it gets the green light. Here’s our pick of the cream of Cyprus… As we’ve said, the island is blessed with those 300-plus sunny days and even in winter it can be a mild climate alternative to jetting way for a long-haul break.
But it comes into its own from late spring to early autumn with pretty much wall-to-wall warm sunshine and dazzling blue skies.
The peak holiday season months of July and August are of course the hottest at up to a sizzling 38C, though if that’s a bit too strong a trip into the Troodos Mountains offers some respite at a typical 24C.
Temperatures in the sea are kind too, with the water around 22C from June to November, climbing to 27C in August.
There’s something for all with monasteries, churches, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and places associated with Greek mythology.
The Theatre of Kourion, just outside Limassol, is one of the island’s most impressive archaeological sites, dating from the 2nd century BC.
It seated up to 3,500 spectators for gladiator and wild animal fights and is still in use today for less gory entertainment including cultural activities and theatrical performances (entry €4.50). Further west, the Archaeological Park of Kato Paphos has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 with numerous monuments that date from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages.
Highlights include the Tombs of the Kings and the intricate mosaic floors of four Roman villas (€4.50).
Cyprus is famous for its stunning beaches (Image: Getty)
Delicious halloumi is a traditional Cypriot dish (Image: Getty)
Aphrodite Adonis when he for a while Kolossi Castle, nine miles west of Limassol, was first built in the 13th century and was used as the Grand Commandery of the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, then was taken over by the Knights Templar and rebuilt in the 15th century.
During this time, the Knights produced and exported a sweet wine, which became known as the vin de Commanderie.
When to visit: The castle is open all year round but opening hours do vary per month so check before travel. Entry costs €2.50 per person.
The beaches in Cyprus are top-notch, with 64 having the coveted Blue Flag status. Lara Bay on the Akamas Peninsula and Sirena Bay in Protaras are standouts.
FEEL THE LOVE
Cyprus is forever associated with Aphrodite as the Greek Goddess of Love was said to be born from the foam of the sea around the island.
Aphrodite’s Rock, a large sea stack near Kouklia, is her mythical birthplace and swimming around the rock at midnight is said to make the swimmer younger by a year for every lap (the beach here is excellent too).
The Baths of Aphrodite is an attractive natural grotto with a pool near Latchi on the Akamas Peninsula and it’s here that the goddess bathed in the waters. According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite met her mortal lover Adonis here when he stopped at this lush spot for a drink while hunting.
Tombs of the Kings is near Paphos (Image: Getty)
Cyprus is also a haven for divers (Image: Getty)
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like halloumi? The semi-soft cheese, made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, is the flagship of Cypriot cuisine and served in hotels and restaurants all over the island.
Enjoy it served on a skewer with grilled vegetables and drizzled in grape syrup, or grilled and wrapped in warm pitta bread.
The pine-clad range, home to ancient copper mines, tops out at an impressive 6,404ft and there are ski runs at two sites in the winter.
If conditions are right, it is even possible to ski down the mountain in the morning and go swimming in the sea in the afternoon.
Visitors will find quaint villages, pretty nature trails and fascinating museums, as well as escaping the fierce summer heat.
Must-sees include Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, a Byzantine church which is unremarkable from the outside but has magnificent interior murals which date back as far as the 11th century. Close by, you’ll find Kakopetria, a pretty village tucked in to the Solea Valley, which has narrow stone-paved alleys and charming two-storey houses with wooden balconies and jars of colourful preserved fruits on sale.
Authentic Cyprus does not get much more authentic than this.
Get away from the crowds in rural Cyprus (Image: Getty)
Aphrodite’s Rock is said to have magical properties (Image: Getty)
Besides its beauty, Lara Bay is a haven for loggerhead and green turtles. A conservation station has for the sea in Lara Bay been set up and local ecologists place aluminium cages to protect turtle eggs from predators. Visit between May and August for a chance to see the turtles arriving on the beach to lay their eggs.
DIVE, DIVE, DIVE
Scuba divers will love MS Zenobia, a Swedish roll-on-roll-off ferry which capsized off Larnaca harbour in 1980.
It is now rated as one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world and is home to species of fish including grouper, barracuda, moray eels and stingrays plus turtles and octopus. Much of the ferry and its cargo of tractors is intact.
AND WINE NOT?
A long-standing tradition of winemaking dates back to Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian times, though recent archaeological finds of old wine jugs in villages may be as much as 5,500 years old. The Akamas Wine Route runs through rugged coastlines and charming villages where winemakers work with the indigenous Xynisteri (white) grape variety which flourishes in a climate tempered by the sea breeze.
Commandaria is a fabled dessert wine made from two local grapes grown on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains, with only 14 villages entitled to give the name to their produce. The name comes from the Grand Commandery at Kolossi Castle as the Knights were renowned for producing it.
Mediterranean food and olive oil have gone hand in hand for millennia. The Oleastro Olive Park and Museum, near Pissouri, is Cyprus’s first such museum and visitors can discover the extraction methods, the role of olive tree in art and the Med diet plus customs, traditions and history. An ecological olive mill allows visitors to watch the oil extraction between mid-October and February (€3).
Daniel Pearce, Chief Executive of Travel Trade Gazette, appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning to speak about the latest travel news. He said that some European countries may open their borders to Britons as early as May.
Spain and Portugal are both popular holiday destinations for Britons, attracting an average of 18 million and three million UK visitors annually.
Currently, travel to both nations is illegal due to Britain’s lockdown restrictions.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already announced that travel restrictions in England will be lifted on May 17.
When this happens, Britons may be allowed to travel to Portugal and some Spanish islands, as well as Cyprus, if they prove that they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Daniel Pearce spoke to BBC Breakfast this morning about how “encouraging” it is to see that some destinations may be able to open.
Answering the BBC studio’s questions about how confident he is that people will be able to travel in May, Daniel said: “I think it’s a cautious confidence at the moment.
“We know the country is on track with its vaccination programme and we know the importance of holidays to the UK confidence,” he added.
“The fact that these European destinations are looking at their own means of opening up to British tourists is very encouraging, and there are so many destinations actually looking at this, not just Portugal and Cyprus.”
Speaking about the possibility of Spain opening up to British tourists in May, Daniel said: “British tourists spent I think £18billion in Spain in 2019.
“The Spanish government has said that it is looking into the possibility of a green corridor between Spain and the UK this summer.”
Daniel also noted that the EU is looking into creating a green pass, which will enable travel between European countries, but he explained that the board of nations is “taking their time on that”.
The travel expert emphasised: “What we’re seeing at the moment is all these destinations discussing their own way forward, and that’s encouraging.”
Bookings for foreign travel has rocketed over the past few weeks, with Britons already looking forward to a potential summer abroad.
Daniels said: “There has been a lot of interest in holidays this summer, but there’s still a long way to go before the travel industry gets back on track.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel has also warned against booking foreign travel too soon as restrictions may change again due to the unpredictability of the coronavirus.
However, with schools in England set to open tomorrow, there has been no delays yet to the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown plans.
Cyprus is a popular holiday destination for Britons. British visitors are the largest market for the Cypriot tourism industry, which has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. Arrivals and earnings from the sector, which represents about 13 percent of the Cypriot economy, plunged on average 85 percent in 2020. Now the country has announced it will reopen its doors to British tourists in time for the summer.
Cyprus has now said it will open its borders to vaccinated Britons.
The Government in Cyprus said anyone who has had coronavirus vaccines can travel to the country from May 1.
This is more than two weeks before Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap outlines Britons will be able to go on holiday.
Mr Johnson’s roadmap outlines UK domestic holidays away from home will be permitted from April 12.
International leisure travel will resume no earlier than May 17.
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The Cypriot Government has not yet outlined how people will prove they have received both vaccine doses.
The move further underlines how the European Union is struggling to implement a bloc-wide stance on COVID-19 immunity certificates.
Savvas Perdios, Cyprus’s tourism minister, told the state news agency: “This is a very important development.”
He added this step should create “the necessary stability and a sense of security for travellers so they could plan their holiday in the coming summer.”
The news has received a mixed response from the public, with many excited to take a trip abroad, while others believe it is too early to think about overseas travel.
A Twitter user wrote: “Cyprus gives the all-clear to anyone from UK who has had 2 Covid vaccinations to come over on holiday. No-one is allowed to go abroad on holiday until at least May 17. Aye right! Watch the exodus on May 1.”
One person tweeted: “#Cyprus It is ridiculous to talk about holidays overseas ( with or without the vaccine) when we cannot even meet family and friends indoors here in the UK. People who went on holiday to Spain etc last summer brought back lots of Covid infections with them. Will we never learn?”
Is it safe to travel to Cyprus?
Home Secretary Priti Patel has said it is still “too early” to book a holiday abroad for later in the year.
Cyprus has been in and out of lockdowns for around a year.
However, compared to other countries, the outbreak has been relatively mild.
In total, the country has seen 36,004 cases of COVID-19, with 232 deaths reported.
Cyprus has vaccinated 53,617 people so far.
Travel abroad is still banned across the UK.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, which you are only entitled to do if you are travelling for an essential reason, there are certain steps you must take.
You must provide evidence of a negative Covid test result taken up to three days before departure.
If you do not comply and you do not have a valid exemption, your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.