BRITS may be banned from going on holiday to Cyprus due to the Leicester lockdown, officials have warned.
The UK city was forced to go back into lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases, being one of the first locations to face a local lockdown.
Experts in Cyprus have warned that this could affect the return of British tourists, which hoped to resume UK flights from July 15.
The island is categorising countries on their risk levels, with any in category C banned from entering due to high cases of coronavirus, which includes the UK.
Dr Petros Karayiannis, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, told the Cyprus Mail that the UK may face a wait to be put into category B – which could require passengers to have a Covid-free test to be able to enter the country.
He said: "This depends on the epidemiological picture it will present in the coming days”.
He added, noting the local lockdown in Leicester: "If there is a wide spread, then it will be difficult to integrate the UK even into category B."
Cyprus has managed to keep coronavirus cases low after closing their borders and suspending flights, with overall confirmed cases remaining under 1,000,and just 19 deaths.
Dr Karayiannis added that new cases in the country have stemmed from travellers from category C countries, but who transited through category B countries.
Other countries still banned from Cyprus include Ireland, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain, while the majority of EU countries are in category A – meaning they can freely travel to the islands.
It isn't good news for Brits hoping for a holiday to Cyprus, with easyJet flights to the country already sold out this month, according to local media.
It follows comments from the island’s tourism deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios, who said he foresaw flights being resumed to the Mediterranean hotspot by July 15.
He told Sun Online Travel: "The UK is our biggest market, it’s massively important to us, and the situation there is improving all the time.
"In a few weeks from now, by mid-July, flights will be possible from the UK to Cyprus … 15th July sounds very reasonable."
Following his comments, Dr Karayiannis said if the country was included in category B by July 15 then they could "accept travellers who present test results".
Other countries are holding off on welcoming British tourists back as well – Greece extended their UK flight ban from July 1 until July 15, due to the coronavirus case level.
TUI has warned that other countries may follow suit, risking thousands of further holiday cancellations.
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