Is it safe to travel to Cyprus? Heightened tensions after Hezbollah leader's warning

Is it safe to travel to Cyprus? Heightened tensions after Hezbollah leader's warning

The leader of Hezbollah has warned that Cyprus could be dragged into a war if it opens its airports and bases up to Israel.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that should an all-out war break out with Israel, nations that facilitate their military efforts may also be impacted.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” he said in a stern warning.

While the president of Cyprus said that the island remains “uninvolved in any military conflicts,” it points to rising tensions across the region.

More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel as it continues its bitter military onslaught within the Gaza Strip, despite international condemnation.

Tensions have also continued to rise between Israel and Lebanon, with increasing amounts of cross-border attacks reported in recent weeks.

The Hezbollah leader’s message may sound concerning, particularly to holidaymakers who visit the sunny island, which is just 125 miles away from Lebanon.

Cyprus is also facing a

Here is what you need to know if you are planning to travel to Cyprus this summer.

Is it safe to travel to Cyprus now?

Cyprus is still considered a generally safe country to visit, and thousands of British holidaymakers head there each year.

Despite the Hezbollah leader’s warning, the international community has also sought to downplay escalating regional tensions in the Med.

“Cyprus remains uninvolved in any military conflicts and positions itself as part of the solution rather the problem,” said Cypriot president Nikos Christodoulides. He added: “Our humanitarian corridor is a testament to our commitment to peace and stability.”

“Such statements are not pleasant, but they do not reflect reality. Cyprus is not participating in any military engagements.”

The FCDO did recently update its travel advice regarding Cyprus, but this wasn’t in response to the Hezbollah warning, and there’s currently no mention of any major geopolitical concerns.

The website also highlights that recent wildfires are common in the summer, adding: “The Department of Meteorology of Cyprus issues warnings for severe weather, especially during summer. Weather can sometimes cause travel disruption. Monitor local and international updates and severe weather warnings from the Cyprus Department of Meteorology, and check with your travel provider if necessary. Always follow the advice of local authorities.”

What is official Government advice on travelling to Cyprus?

The UK Government hasn’t issued a “do not travel” warning, but it gives information about people's safety and security when abroad on its website.

It warns: “There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.”

It says while there have not been any terrorist attacks recently in Cyprus, it “cannot be ruled out”.

It also warns that although the Republic of Cyprus is a full EU member, not all of it is included in that.

The country is divided by the Green Line and the British Government does not recognise the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Do I need a Covid test to travel to Cyprus?

There are no Covid-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Cyprus and travellers will not have to prove they have been immunised.

However, your passport must have been issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’) and be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’).

You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before October 1, 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

Do I need a visa to enter Cyprus from the UK?

If travelling for a holiday or leisure, you do not need a visa to visit Cyprus. This rule allows you to stay for up to 90 days for tourism, visiting friends or family, attending business meetings, or short-term study.

To stay longer or if visiting for other reasons, check what you need from the Cyprus High Commission.