Bellapais Abbey, Cyprus
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Bellapais Abbey, Cyprus

© 123rf.com / Vlasis Vlasidis

Cyprus Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

9,251 sq km (3,572 sq miles).

Population

1,195,204 (UN estimate 2019).

Population density

129.19 per sq km.

Capital

Nicosia (Greek: Lefkosia; Turkish: Lefkoşa).

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Nicos Anastasiades since 2013.

Head of government

South: President Nikos Anastasiade since 2013. North: President Mustafa Akinci since 2015.

Electricity

240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used.

The legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, Cyprus is every inch the Mediterranean – sandy beaches, ancient monasteries, classical ruins, thyme scented mountains, terracotta pottery and, of course, the obligatory party resorts full of sun-seeking twenty-somethings.

Cyprus has always been at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. In ancient times, a succession of empires squabbled over its seaports and mountain fortresses, which guaranteed supremacy over the eastern Mediterranean. These empire-builders left behind an incredible legacy of historical relics: ancient Greek and Roman ruins, Crusader castles, mighty Venetian city walls and towering mosques and minarets left behind by Ottoman invaders.

Until the 1970s, Cyprus was a sleepy backwater, but a devastating civil war saw the island split into Greek Cypriot and Turkish states. In the south, the Greek Republic of Cyprus grew into a modern European state, while the Turkish north half of the island remains isolated, recognised only by Turkey and well off the mainstream tourist radar.

After Partition, tourist development went into overdrive in the Greek half of the island, with the emergence of Ayia Napa, Protaras, Limassol, Paphos and a string of other package holiday resorts along the southern coast. This is one face of Cyprus – whitewashed villas, sunbathers, banana-boat rides, boisterous nightclubs and hordes of young people enjoying blistering summer sunshine.

Inland, the old Cyprus endures, with beautiful villages full of UNESCO-listed churches, peaceful mountain trails and vineyards that have been producing wines since ancient times. A similar old-world atmosphere pervades in the divided capital, Lefkosia (Nicosia), where quiet lanes lined with Turkish mosques and Byzantine churches come to a sudden halt at the Green Line, the de facto border between the two enclaves.

The north is something else again, more Turkish than Greek, even down to the menus on restaurant tables, but studded with ancient ruins and dramatic Crusader castles. While rampant development is taking place along the coast around Famagusta (Gazimagusa) and Kyrenia (Girne), the remote Karpas Peninsula offers a journey back in time, where ancient ruins spill out onto golden beaches that see more sea turtles than human visitors.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Cyprus on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Cyprus.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. The Cypriot government has advised that travellers should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities by calling 1450 or 1412.

The British High Commission is aware of issues that some passengers have had with airlines not accepting pre-departure COVID PCR test certificates from the north of Cyprus and is seeking clarification from the Republic of Cyprus. We advise all travellers with questions or concerns about pre-departure testing to seek advice directly from their airline well ahead of travel.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Cyprus

In line with a UN statement, all crossing points between the Republic and the north re-opened on 4 June 2021 subject to a Red, Orange, Green categorisation system. Under current conditions, Red status applies which means that vaccinated travellers must present a negative PCR or Antigen (rapid) test result, taken within the last 7 days, in order to cross. Unvaccinated travellers must present a negative PCR or Antigen (rapid) test result, taken within the last 72 hours in order to cross.

If you have been in the UK within 14 days of travel to Cyprus, and wish to cross to the north further conditions apply, refer to additional details under Entry to Cyprus.

Public spaces and services

The use of a face mask is compulsory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces for everyone aged 6 and above. Failure to comply with restrictions may result in a €300 fine.

People aged 6 and above require a SafePass to enter venues including malls, catering establishments, some sports facilities etc. See further information on the SafePass regulations and requirements.

You can get a SafePass if you can provide proof of either:

  • being fully vaccinated; or
  • having contracted COVID-19 in the past 6 months; or
  • a negative PCR test result not older than 72hrs or a negative rapid test result not older than 48hrs

If you are not fully vaccinated or haven’t recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months, you can obtain a SafePass after obtaining a negative result from the PCR test taken on arrival in Cyprus. For ongoing SafePass eligibility you will need to take a further PCR or antigen (rapid) test on day 7 following your arrival and every 72 hours thereafter. See section on Entry rules in response to coronavirus.

Cyprus will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November 2021 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

You can find full details of the latest measures introduced by the Cypriot authorities on this information page and more generally, including on SafePass/CoronaPass, on the Press & Information Office website.

North of Cyprus

Face masks must be worn in public at all times. An AdaPass is required to enter most venues. Additional information under Entry to Cyprus.

Healthcare in Cyprus

See the Cypriot Ministry of Health website for information on coronavirus from the Cypriot authorities. If you develop fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough, the Cyprus Government advise that you stay indoors and immediately contact the Ministry of Health’s public health line on 1420 from a Cypriot line.

If you test positive for coronavirus while in Cyprus you must self-isolate for 14 days from the onset of symptoms or, if you are asymptomatic, from the day of the testing.

If you are unable to self-isolate in your current accommodation, the Cypriot authorities will ask you and your close contacts to move to a quarantine hotel. The cost of quarantine hotel accommodation in this situation is covered by the Cypriot government. Further guidance, including for people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, is available at the Press and Public Information Office website.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism has also set up a dedicated email address to assist travellers with questions; contact travel2021@visitcyprus.com. You can also submit queries via Facebook Messenger.

You can find a list of English speaking doctors online.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Cyprus.

Quarantine hotels

If you test positive for COVID-19 in the Republic of Cyprus you may have to enter a quarantine hotel. The cost will be covered by the Cypriot authorities.
In the north of Cyprus authority-designated accommodation is at your own expense. You can also use the Güvende Kal application to request an electronic bracelet for quarantining at home. The UK government will not cover mandatory quarantine costs for British nationals. See Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

EHIC or GHIC cards cannot be used to cover any additional expenses you incur whilst staying in a quarantine hotel. Make sure you have access to funds to cover the costs or take out insurance, checking the policy has adequate cover.

If you have or are entitled to an EHIC or GHIC and you need medical treatment while staying at a quarantine hotel, the UK government will fund treatment as usual through the EHIC/GHIC scheme.

Find out more from the NHS website about EHIC and GHIC healthcare cover abroad.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Cyprus

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Cyprus announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Cyprus national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. British nationals resident in Cyprus are eligible for vaccination.

UK nationals registered with the General Healthcare System (GeSY) can use the online portal to request a vaccination. UK Nationals who are not GeSY registered, but are legal residents can apply for a vaccination through a dedicated form. In the north of Cyprus a vaccination programme, starting with those most vulnerable, is being rolled out. UK Nationals resident in the north should contact their local health care provider for further information.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Cyprus, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

If you receive your COVID-19 vaccination in Cyprus, you can get an EU Digital COVID Certificate from the national authorities. The Certificate proves that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. It will help facilitate your travel within the EU and, in some countries, you can use it to demonstrate your COVID-19 status to businesses and other organisations. For further information visit the European Commission’s EU Digital COVID Certificate page.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Crime against tourists is not common, but you should keep passports, money and other valuables safe. Room safes and hotel safety deposit boxes have been targeted previously.

Personal attacks, including sexual assaults, are infrequent but they do occur. Be alert to the possible use of ‘date rape’ and other drugs including ‘GHB’ and liquid ecstasy. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times to make sure they are not spiked. Female travellers should be particularly watchful. If you drink, know your limit; drinks served in bars are often stronger than those in the UK. Avoid splitting up from your friends, and don’t go off with people you don’t know.

Local travel

The operations of crossing points are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) control measures. See Coronavirus.

Even when the crossing points are operating under normal conditions, British and other foreign nationals who have entered Cyprus through the north (such as via Ercan airport) are considered by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to have entered Cyprus through an illegal port of entry. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus may fine you for illegal entry if you cross into the south, or refuse you entry into or exit from the Republic, or prevent crossing at the boundary with the north.

The Republic of Cyprus authorities may count time spent in the north of Cyprus towards the 90 day visa free total. If you overstay, you may potentially face difficulties at the airport on exit or re-entry.

Similarly, when the crossing points are operating under normal conditions, you can take a hired car through some of the checkpoints. Many cars hired in the south are not insured for use in the north. Check with your insurance company - you will not be allowed through a crossing without the correct insurance documents. At some of the crossing points it is possible to buy car insurance for the north. There are controls on the quantities and types of goods that can be bought in the north and brought into the south, including from the bicommunal village of Pyla in the buffer zone. Goods, including cigarettes, may be confiscated at the checkpoint and you may be fined. The Republic of Cyprus currently imposes a limit of 40 cigarettes per person on crossing the Green Line from the north of Cyprus.

Anyone with documents relating to the purchase of property in the north of Cyprus when crossing the Green Line could face criminal proceedings.

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Cyprus, see information on Driving Abroad.

Licences and documents

Short-term visitors and tourists can drive using a UK driving licence.

If you’re living in Cyprus, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.

Driving a British car abroad

You will need a GB sticker or a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. From 28 September UK stickers will replace GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK before, on or after 28th September 2021.

Driving standards

Driving standards are poor. In 2019 there were 52 road deaths in the Cyprus (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 5.9 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.

Driving regulations

Cypriot driving regulations are similar to those in the UK and driving is on the left.

You may be fined if you drive without a seat belt or ride a motorbike without a crash helmet. Heavy fines also apply if you use a mobile telephone or are under the influence of alcohol while driving. When hiring a vehicle, check that it is roadworthy and that you have appropriate insurance cover and safety equipment. 

See the European Commission, AA and RAC guides on driving in Cyprus.

Swimming

Bathing is generally safe, but you should be aware of strong seas and undertows. Always comply with warning signs and swim only from approved beaches.

Adventure sports

If you intend take part in any adventure sports, water sports or diving, make sure you have the right travel insurance. Only use properly licensed and insured operators and satisfy yourself that adequate safety precautions are in place. Don’t hand over your passport as a guarantee against the return of equipment.

Political situation

The Republic of Cyprus is a full member of the EU, but the country remains divided by the Green Line which separates the so-called ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ from the rest of the island. The ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ is not recognised by the British government.

Terrorist attacks in Cyprus can’t be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Cyprus has a strictly enforced zero tolerance policy towards drugs. If you are caught with any type of narcotic you will receive either a prison sentence or a hefty fine. The rules against possession of drugs are stricter than in the UK.

Avoid taking photographs near potentially sensitive areas like military establishments.

Judicial Processes

The current judicial processing delays mean that court cases can take up to two years to be scheduled and adjournments happen regularly in Cyprus.

LGBT

Although not generally as widely accepted as in the UK, homosexuality is legal in the Republic of Cyprus and legislation passed in 2016 now allows for civil partnerships to be carried out. Homosexuality was also decriminalised in the northern part of Cyprus in 2014, but it is still not very widely accepted and some discretion is advised. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Dual nationals

British nationals of Cypriot descent, irrespective of whether they hold Cypriot ID papers, may be considered eligible by the Cypriot authorities for military service. If this happens, you may face difficulties when exiting Cyprus, and you may have to prove that you live outside Cyprus.

Under international law, the British High Commission can’t formally intervene with the Cypriot authorities on behalf of those considered by the Cypriot authorities to be dual Cypriot/British nationals. If you think you may be eligible for any local obligations or duties that apply to dual nationals, contact the Cypriot authorities or a local lawyer before you travel.

The British High Commission website has lists of local lawyers for Cyprus and Cyprus (north).

Surrogacy

If you are visiting Cyprus for the purpose of commissioning surrogacy arrangements, you should consider the potential risks and challenges involved in pursuing international surrogacy and seek specialist legal advice on Cyprus and UK laws prior to making any arrangements. Surrogacy is a complex and lengthy process. The British High Commission does not have authority to be involved in surrogacy arrangements. The FCDO and Home Office have produced guidance to help inform you on the issues you may face when embarking on a surrogacy arrangement. Commissioning a surrogacy will not automatically mean that the child holds British citizenship.

Make sure you are fully aware of the facts and are well prepared before starting the process. Research prospective surrogacy clinics and hospitals thoroughly to ensure you are dealing with a safe and reputable organisation. The British High Commission cannot recommend specific hospitals or clinics.

If you wish to bring your child born via surrogacy from Cyprus to the UK you must apply for a full British passport, for which a Cypriot birth certificate will be needed. The maximum period of visa-free stay allowed by the Cypriot authorities is 90 days within a 180-day period.

Taking food and drink into the EU

You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Cyprus set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact their embassy, high commission or consulate. You may also check with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and travel documents meet their requirements.

If you are travelling to Cyprus for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Cyprus

The UK entered Cyprus’ Red category on 8 July.

Entry requirements for vaccinated travellers

Travellers aged 12 and above must take a PCR test on arrival at the airport in Cyprus. The cost of the test (€15) is borne by the passenger. You must self-isolate in your accommodation until the result is available. You will also need to obtain a Cyprus flight pass. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’)

Entry requirements for unvaccinated travellers

Passengers coming from Red Category countries who have not completed their COVID-19 vaccination programmes must undergo a PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure and provide proof of a negative result. You must then undergo another PCR test upon arrival at the airport in Cyprus. Test results should be available within three hours through the online platform. The cost of both tests is borne by the passenger.

Results from the PCR test taken before travel can be in the form of an email or SMS, but the result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Entry requirements for children

Children who arrive in Cyprus before their 12th birthday, are exempted from the testing requirement. Children aged 12 and over who have not completed a full vaccination programme need to follow the guidance for unvaccinated adults.

Cypriot citizens and family members (alien spouses and their underage children), and persons legally residing in the Republic have the option to take a test only upon arrival in the Republic of Cyprus, provided you; have received at least the first dose of a two-dose vaccine accepted by the Republic of Cyprus; are aged 12–15; or cannot be vaccinated for proven medical reasons. If you meet one of these conditions and choose this option, you must remain in mandatory self-isolation for 72 hours upon arrival. At the end of the 72-hour period you must undergo another PCR test. If the repeat test is negative, you can end your isolation. The test result must be sent to the following email address: monada@mphs.moh.gov.cy. The cost of both tests is borne by the passenger.

Further information about entry requirements for travellers from countries in Cyprus’ Red category is available on the Cyprus flight pass website.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

All categories of travellers must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before their journey, available on the Cyprus Flight Pass website. Where relevant, you will be responsible for ensuring your PCR test result is uploaded to Cyprus Flight Pass within 24 hours of your departure. If you need to provide your appointment letter you can upload both documents in a single photo. In addition to obtaining the Cyprus Flight Pass, passengers are required to carry with them, in hard copy or electronically, copies of these documents. You will be asked to present your flight pass prior to boarding and on arrival at immigration.

Cyprus will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record. The Cyprus Flight Pass website does not, however, accept the UK’s proof of recovery from COVID-19. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from 1 November 2021 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

The Cyprus government have a help desk to assist travellers with queries regarding the use of the Cyprus Flight Pass. This service is accessible by telephone +(357) 2484 1234 and through the Cyprus Flight Pass e-platform. You should continue to track developments through the Republic of Cyprus Information Office.

All travellers visiting the north of Cyprus from the UK must provide a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to entry and complete an online Passenger Country Entry Form before travel. Where relevant you must upload your negative PCR test result, vaccination certificate bearing a QR code or proof of having previously contracted COVID-19 (in the form of a positive PCR test result obtained 30 – 180 days before the date of arrival). You must also carry printed copies of these documents.

On arrival, travellers who have not completed the vaccination programme OR not previously contracted COVID-19 must quarantine for 7 days at authority-designated accommodation at their own expense. If you can specify your accommodation, you can use the Güvende Kal application to request an electronic bracelet for quarantining at home. Another COVID-19 test will be taken in order to end the quarantine period. Fully vaccinated travellers or those who have had the disease will not be required to quarantine.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

For more information on crossing to and from the north of Cyprus, see Local travel.

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to Cyprus for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit for family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • visits to other EU or Schengen countries do not count towards the 90-day limit in Cyprus as it is not in the Schengen area. Visits to Cyprus do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area
  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Cypriot government’s entry requirements. Check with the Republic of Cyprus High Commission what type of visa and/or work permit you may need
  • if you stay in Cyprus with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Cyprus before 1 January 2021 does not count towards the 90-day visa-free limit.

If you’re a resident in Cyprus, you are advised to carry your Republic of Cyprus-issued residency documents when entering/exiting the Republic of Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus does not recognise the self-declared ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ in the north of Cyprus, nor residence permits issued by the administration there.

The Republic of Cyprus authorities may count time spent in the north of Cyprus towards the 90 day visa free total. If you overstay, you may potentially face difficulties at the airport on exit or re-entry.

At border control for Cyprus, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Cyprus. If you are resident in Cyprus, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Cyprus guide.

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

Make sure your passport is:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Cyprus
  • less than 10 years old

The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.

If you’re travelling to the north of Cyprus, their administration advises that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry to the north.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Cyprus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Cyprus on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Cyprus.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Healthcare

You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Cypriot nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.

Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

If you’re living in Cyprus, you can also find more information on healthcare for residents in our Living In Cyprus guide.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Earthquakes

Cyprus can experience earthquakes and earth tremors. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake and follow advice given by the local authorities.

You can find an 8-step guide to Earthquake Safety on the Cyprus Civil Defence website.

Forest fires / wildfires

Forest fires / wildfires often occur during the summer months across Cyprus due to the dry/hot weather.

Wildfires are highly dangerous and unpredictable. Take care when visiting or driving through woodland areas. Make sure cigarette ends are properly extinguished, and don’t light barbecues unless you are in a designated site. If you see a fire, call the emergency services on 112 or 1407.

Wildfires can also cause travel disruption in some areas. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the Cyprus Department of Meteorology or European Meteorological Services. Follow the advice of local authorities at all times and check with your travel provider for travel updates. For further information on the risk of wildfires, visit the Department of Forests website.

Weather

The Department of Meteorology of Cyprus issues yellow, amber or red warnings for severe weather, especially during the extended summer period and this can at times cause travel disruption. Monitor local and international weather updates from the Cyprus Department of Meteorology or European Meteorological Services, and check with your travel provider if necessary. Follow the advice of local authorities at all times. For severe weather warnings, visit the European Meteorological Services website.

The currency of Cyprus is the Euro.

You can use ATMs, debit and credit cards as normal.

If you’re found with fake euro banknotes the police will be called and you may be prosecuted. Several British nationals have been convicted and imprisoned for possession of fake euros. There are some simple checks you can make before accepting notes:

  • The front of a euro note bears the initials of the European Central Bank in five different languages. They should look like this: BCE ECB EZB EKT EKP, in that order.
  • They should have a raised print, a watermark, a security thread and a see-through number.
  • If you tilt the banknote, you should see a shifting holographic image.
  • On the back of €5, €10 and €20 notes you should see a glossy strip and on the larger denominations, a number that changes colour.

The European Central bank’s website has more details.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.