Hi there! I just wanted to update you all about how things are going here on this beautiful island.
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Spring has well and truly arrived
We’re now having some lovely spring weather – this is my favourite time of the year. There are some pretty spring flowers and plants along the roadsides, full of blooms that are bright and dark yellow, purple, and pink – these are native wildflowers of Cyprus. Up above, the spring almond, orange, and apple blossom carpets the trees. You can’t help but smell and admire that heavenly blossom.
As I write, the sun is beaming down and the temperature is around 21-23 degrees Celsius. Another reason why these Easter months are my favourite is because the temperature is just right; it’s still warm enough for a nice stroll along the Limassol coastline, watching the sun dance on the blue waves of the Mediterranean sea – one of my favourite things to do during these uncertain times.
I have been doing my yoga practice on the sandy beach and combined it with my favourite stroll. Evening temperatures at the moment are around 12 degrees Celsius, but they can go down to around 8 degrees Celsius.
Awaiting our overseas friends
Talking about uncertain times, the buzzword here among local Cypriots is their favourite overseas visitors from the UK. Everyone is missing you here! I know, because we are now allowed to mix outside and all the Cypriots (Limassolians) I have spoken to tell me they have missed the presence of the holidaymakers from the UK; all eyes are on 17 May, when Cyprus hopes to welcome back its traditional overseas visitors once more.
Cyprus is preparing for this with its vaccination roll-out. We have obtained three types of vaccine from EU supplies – Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca – and have currently succeeded in vaccinating our elderly and vulnerable population (80+), the 70-80 age group, and the 60-70 age group. Cyprus is now beginning to vaccinate the 50-60 age group, and, despite initial delays in obtaining the vaccines from the EU, the government here has predicted that the about 500,000 of the population will be vaccinated by the end of June, adding that this means that herd immunity might also be obtained.
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Cyprus has also announced that it would allow overseas UK visitors into the country – without needing a negative PCR test and not having to quarantine for ten days here – if they bring proof that they have received two doses of their vaccination, with the second dose received one week before they travel, and agree to possibly being randomly tested when they arrive at the airport. This is good news, because all our wonderful hotels that I’ve written about before are gearing up to open in the middle of May to provide you with that unique Cyprus experience.
Current restrictions in Cyprus
Once you are here, you will need to remember that you must follow the restrictions that we have in place. At the moment, the restrictions reflect the cautious approach the government is taking to open up the hospitality sector.
This month, the government allowed restaurants to re-open but only for outside seating. You can have up to eight people at a table, which is quite relaxed. You have to wear masks when you are outside your hotel and when you go to restaurants, wine bars, fast-food places or our coffee shops, and you can only take your mask off to eat and drink (the original requirement was to wear your mask even between bites and sips, but this was abandoned thank goodness!).
For exercise, like walking, you don’t have to wear a mask, but we are limited to going out just two times on weekdays and three times at weekends.
There is also a curfew from 11 pm-6 am each day, including weekends.
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The government is currently deciding whether the movement restrictions and the curfew will also apply to overseas visitors. Cyprus believes that by middle of May enough of the population will have been vaccinated to allow all these restrictions to be lifted.
A “new normal” holiday
So, although it’s true that we are all living in uncertain times, it’s also true that it’s possible to recover some form of the good holiday times in Cyprus. I think that for the next months it will be a “new normal” holiday, but it can still be enjoyable here.
As I’ve always said, three things are definite, and will never change – the sun, the sea, and the sand. You can still enjoy the warmth of the sun, and swim in the bright blue, sparkling Mediterranean Sea, while still receiving a wonderful Cypriot welcome in our hotels with tasty, Cyprus food and excellent hotel and restaurant hospitality.
You can go walking in the mountains or along the seafront; you can still enjoy wandering around those typical Cypriot villages to explore this ancient island.
Even though the night life is restricted right now, it’s possible to enjoy daytime pleasures. For example, you can eat lunch out in a restaurant at your leisure, and then eat a light dinner in the evening when time is more restricted because of the curfew.
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The water sports I have written about before will open up by then too, and so you will be able to try scuba diving, surfing, kayaking on the dams, and hang-gliding as well. And don’t forget that you can still take a good book and read in the many outdoor cafes and on the beach to relax!
In another article, I will tell you about some new workshop activities that are being planned in the villages and mountain areas of Cyprus – these include activities like traditional wine and haloumi-making, as well as typical Cyprus arts and crafts. I’m sure you will agree that despite these uncertain times, we can still manage to enjoy the wonderful experiences unique to Cyprus and its people.