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Monday, September 25, 2006

Foreign Office Travel Advice ...For Your Guest Manual

The information is from the Foreign Office, and useful to guests who like to be "in the know" about where they visiting, once they get there....

SUMMARY


  • Cyprus shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism.
  • Crimes against tourists are uncommon
  • Cyprus has a strict policy of zero tolerance towards drugs
  • Driving standards are poor, drive with care and caution
  • Beware of strong seas and only swim at approved beaches
  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical
    insurance before travelling.
  • Before purchasing property anywhere in Cyprus you are strongly advised to seek
    independant qualifed legal advice


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Terrorism

Cyprus shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism. Attacks
could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.

Crime

There have been a number of bombings and torching of cars, mainly in the Limassol
and Nicosia areas over a few years. Although the perpetrators have rarely been identified, these activities are restricted for the most part to in fighting among the criminal fraternity.

Crimes against tourists are uncommon. You should, however, safeguard passports, money and other valuables by using safety deposit boxes where available.

Political Situation

The Republic of Cyprus is full member of the EU. But the country remains divided by theGreen Line which separates the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from the rest of the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not recognised by the British Government.

Local Travel

The partial lifting of restrictions on crossing the Green Line allows Cypriots to cross at designated crossing points from the north to the south. It is possible to travel to the north of cyprus from the south by crossing at several checkpoints, including at Ledra Palace, which is for pedestrians only. You are strongly advised, however, to check the insurance implications with your car hire company before doing so. It is possible to hire a car once you have crossed into
the north. There are controls on the quantities and types of goods that can be purchased in the north and brought into the south. Goods may be confiscated at the checkpoint upon return to the south.

British and foreign nationals who have entered Cyprus through the north are considered by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to have entered Cyprus through an illegal port of entry. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus reserves the right to fine EU (including British) citizens for the illegal entry if they cross into the south. In practice, their current policy is not to do so.

Road Safety

Cypriot driving regulations are similar to those of the UK and driving is on the left hand side of the road. Driving standards are poor. You may be fined 500 pounds or more if you are caught not wearing a seat belt or crash helmet or if you are using a mobile phone or under the influence of alcohol while driving.

Most roads, including intercity highways are of a good standard. Short term visitors and tourists are permitted to drive on a UK driving licences.

When hiring a car, moped, boat, jetski or other vehicle, you should check that it is road or sea worthy and that you have appropriate insurance cover and safety equipment.

Sea Safety

Bathing is generally safe, but you should be aware of strong seas and undertows. You should always comply with warning signs and swim only from approved beaches.

LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

Cyprus has a strictly enforced zero tolerance policy towards drugs. Being caught in possession of any type of narcotic will usually lead to a prison sentence or a hefty fine.

Do not attempt to make fraudulent claims on your insurance policy. The police investigate such claims and prosecute visitors for this offence. Prison sentences and heavy fines have been imposed.

You should avoid taking photographs near potentially sensitive areas such as military establishments in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Homosexuality is legal in Cyprus, although it is not generally as openly accepted as in UK.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Cyprus is a full member of the European Union. Holders of full British Passports do not require visas.

HEALTH

You should take with you a completed E111 form which should be completed before you leave UK. They are available free of charge from most post offices. This will entitle you to free emergency medical treatment in Cyprus. It is still essential that you obtain comprehensive medical/travel insurance before travelling to the island.

For more information on health, check the Department of Health Website at: WWW.dh.gov.uk

NATURAL DISASTERS

Cyprus occasionally experiences earth tremors but invariably they are very mild.

GENERAL

Purchasing Property


Before purchasing property anywhere in Cyprus you are strongly advised to seek independent qualified legal advice.

The non-recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the possibility of future political settlement in Cyprus could have a significant practical or financial implications for those considering buying property in the north.

There are also specific rules for foreigners purchasing property in the North and you should ensure that you are fully aware of these.

Timeshare/property salespersons tout for business in Cyprus, especially in the Paphos area. You should read the fine print very carefully and seek legal advice before signing any kind of contract. Under Cyprus law you are entitled to a 15-day "cooling off" period during which, if you change your mind
you should receive a full refund of any money paid.

HIGH COMMISSION CONTACT DETAILS

High Commissioner:

Address: British High Commission
Alexander Pallis Street
PO Box 21978
158 Nicosia
or BFPO 567

Telephone: +357 22 861 100

Fax: +357 22 861125 - Information
+357 22 861 175 - Management
+357 22 861 200 - Consular
+357 22 861 150 - Commercial
+357 22 861 315 - Chancery

Email: infobhc@cylink.com.cy

Office Hours: Mon to Fri: 05.30 -12.30 GMT
Mon to Fri: 07.30 - 12.30 Local Time

Website: http://www.britain.org.cy

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