Popular holiday destination North Cyprus could be the first country to completely free itself of COVID-19, with no new cases since 19th April 2020. For holidaymakers looking for a safe and virus-free 2020 or 2021 holiday destination, North Cyprus should be their No.1 choice. With just 108 cases in total since the first confirmed case in March, the final patient to recover from coronavirus in North Cyprus will leave hospital this week fully recovered.
North Cyprus is the only major European holiday destination with less than 110 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre. It’s an impressive achievement for North Cyprus, much loved by UK holidaymakers who come for the sunshine, sandy beaches, and prices in Turkish lira, not euros.
Since 1974, the island of Cyprus has been divided into the Turkish Cypriot north (the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, or TRNC) and Greek Cypriot south (the Republic of Cyprus). Relations between the two parts of the island have been amicable for the last 20 years, with border crossings a mere formality.
When the first case of coronavirus in North Cyprus was confirmed on 10th March, the TRNC government acted quickly. On 11th March, it closed all the airports and borders, and on 16th March it shut down schools. Anyone entering the TRNC from abroad was put into quarantine in hotels for 14 days. A partial daytime lockdown came into force, along with a night-time curfew between 9pm and 6am. Testing began early to detect new cases.
These measures have resulted in an impressive containment of the coronavirus in North Cyprus. There have been just 108 cases in total, with 103 cases already having recovered and returned to their homes and families. As of 4 May 2020, the partial curfew was lifted, the start of a gradual transition back to normal life on the island.
This is good news for UK tourists looking for a coronavirus-free summer holiday or winter break. With over 335 days of sunshine a year, North Cyprus usually welcomes visitors from the UK all year round, joining a sizeable ex-pat population who have made North Cyprus their home.
It’s also good news for the many hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions in North Cyprus, eager to welcome UK tourists back to relax and chill out after their own long lockdown.
So, can tourists start booking summer holidays again with confidence? North Cyprus certainly believes so!
by Harry S. Johnson