Travel with Katie Butler: Reporting from Cyprus with your travel updates

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Almost back to reality! This week, I return from the beautiful island of Cyprus.

Katie Butler writes: It has been fabulous to have an almost “back to normal” holiday in the overseas sunshine.

The introduction of wearing face masks has not been an issue at all, as we have spent most of our time outdoors, and we have only needed to wear a mask in shops and supermarkets, and on public transport etc.

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While away I have continued to keep a close eye on FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) updates.

CYPRUS: Mask wearing in indoor venues and public transport (AdobeStock)CYPRUS: Mask wearing in indoor venues and public transport (AdobeStock)
CYPRUS: Mask wearing in indoor venues and public transport (AdobeStock)

With the introduction of mask wearing in Cyprus, I was pretty sure that we would see other countries following suit while I was away, especially as popular holiday destinations – including Spain, Portugal and Greece - have all recorded a spike in infections.

At the time of writing there has not yet been any further changes to the rules of other countries.

I have chatted with many bar owners and shopkeepers while away, and of course, like myself, they are extremely nervous of Covid-19 potentially causing disruption for yet another season.

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Quite frankly, many have said they don’t think their businesses could survive if the situation worsened again.

It seems most proprietors would prefer to take recommended and necessary precautions but are in fear of further lockdowns and travel bans.

Along with many other destinations, the country of Cyprus relies heavily on tourism and although the resort is getting busier by the day, the Cypriots are also suffering with the lack of tourists from Russia and the Ukraine, who ordinarily account for a fifth of all tourists to the island.

In 2022 the number of arrivals from these countries is close to zero due to the EU banning flights from Russia.

Where can I travel without the need to be fully-vaccinated?

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Nothing has changed since I last updated on this, but it is a question we are asked almost daily.

Greece, Cyprus and Portugal remain, for the time being, restriction free.

To take a holiday to Spain you simply need to provide proof of a negative test before travel.

If you are travelling to Spain with proof of a negative test you will also still need to complete a Passenger Locater Form.

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The USA are still banning unvaccinated adults travelling for leisure purposes.

I am due to travel from Doncaster Airport and have heard it is closing. What will happen to my holiday?

We are waiting for further updates on this, but if your flight is cancelled, we will offer a full refund or alternatively help you to find a replacement holiday from a different airport.

I am delighted to find out this week that once again Total Travel will be invited to the Jet2holidays VIP conference.

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This year it will take place in November and will be hosted in the Algarve.

It is an honour to be invited and be placed amongst the top selling agencies in the UK.

It is certainly an achievement for a small independent agency in Heckmondwike!

It’s a fabulous feeling to be recognised as a top agent by such a fantastic tour operator.