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Cyprus has been a popular destination with Britons this year after remaining exempt from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s advice against all non-essential international travel. However, entry requirements for Britons hoping to visit the country are stringent. UK tourists are permitted to travel to Cyprus, but they need to provide a negative test on arrival, obtained within 72 hours before travel.
The coronavirus test results can be in the form of an email or text but the result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken.
One holidaymaker, who followed the entry requirements to visit the country, was told she couldn’t go on holiday to the country reportedly due to a testing mix-up.
Joanne Lemaire was dye to fly to Cyprus with Jet2 last week, only to be told she wasn’t allowed to fly after her application for a flight pass was rejected.
Ms Lemaire was left out of pocket after spending £1,500 on the holiday to Cyprus.
Ms Lemaire, who is from Ware in Hertfordshire, said she thought the instructions for the tests were unclear.
She told HertsLive: “I was sent an email to say I needed to do a COVID test and then to fill out a Flight Pass 72 hours before it went, but it didn’t stipulate what 72 hours before you went.
“I’m having conversations with friends saying, ‘do I take the day I’m actually going on holiday as part of the 72 hours or not?'”
However, due to a shortage of tests on the NHS, she was only offered tests in Wales or Kent.
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She was then later offered a test in Stevenage and took the opportunity to get a test closer to her home.
The test, which was for herself and her daughter, came back inconclusive.
This meant she was unable to board her flight or go on the holiday.
The NHS says that their free testing service should only be for those with symptoms or travelling abroad.
The NHS website warns: “Do not use this service to get a test in order to travel to another country. You can pay for a private test.
“This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.”
Ms Lemaire has failed to get her money back from her travel insurance.
She said: “Absolute nightmare, I was fuming, my daughter has got special needs – she was in tears because she’s lost her holiday, through no fault of our own – we had [a test] done.
“I’m gobsmacked, I’m gutted that I’ve lost my holiday and there’s no chance of getting any of my money back unless someone can help me get it back.”
A Jet2 spokesperson said: “We cannot provide advice on test options, however, we always advise customers to ensure that they check country entry requirements before travel, and we did so on this occasion.
“We are sorry to hear about this situation, and we always advise customers to always purchase appropriate travel insurance.”
The Department of Health reiterated the NHS’ advice and asked only people with symptoms to be tested.
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