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Cyprus - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Cyprus. Exercise normal security precautions.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Cyprus is an independent country that continues to be divided into two de facto autonomous areas and, contrary to United Nations resolutions, into two separate zones. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized authority, exercises control only in the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island. The northern area operates under an autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration. As Canada does not recognize the Turkish Cypriot administration, assistance to Canadians in the northern area of Cyprus could be limited.
The crime rate is low. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching is prevalent, particularly in urban areas.
Some bars and “cabarets” have been known to overcharge customers for drinks. Discussions about overcharging may lead to threats of violence and security guards may force you to pay.
On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Alert for Europe, alerting U.S. citizens to the “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season” and advising them to “exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.”
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Traffic drives on the left. Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. There are modern highways linking the major cities, but rural and mountain roads are often narrow, winding and poorly maintained. Enforcement of traffic laws and regulations is inconsistent. Running of red lights, speeding and tailgating are common causes of accidents.
Sidewalks are narrow or non-existent and as a result, pedestrians often walk on roadways, causing major safety hazards.
A United Nations peacekeeping force patrols the “green line,” the zone between the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the island and the Turkish Cypriot in the northern area. You can cross the green line in both directions at designated crossing points, including at pedestrian-only Ledra Palace and Ledra Street checkpoints in central Nicosia.
For police or emergency roadside assistance, dial:
155 in the Turkish Cypriot area.
199 in the Republic of Cyprus.
Demonstrations and strikes occur periodically, and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Strikes may occasionally interfere with services, such as public transport. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Public buses are limited but metered taxis are widely available.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety information
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from Cyprus and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with High Commission for the Republic of Cyprus or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
You must enter Cyprus at the legal ports of entry in the area under the control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. Entry or exit via any other air or seaport is considered illegal and could result in penalties.
Immigration officials at the port of entry may ask you for proof of return or onward ticket, as well as proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Cyprus, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: required
If you wish to work in Cyprus, contact the High Commission for the Republic of Cyprus for information on specific requirements. You may also consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus and contact the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance for information on employment permits.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
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Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Satisfactory to good medical care is available at government hospitals and private clinics. Medical services in northern Cyprus can be more basic than those available in the Republic of Cyprus. In the event of a serious accident or illness, medical evacuation may be necessary.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Cyprus. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Cypriot citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Cypriot passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Canadian citizens with dual citizenship may be subject to compulsory military service and other obligations imposed by both the Government of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot authorities. To determine your status, contact the High Commission for the Republic of Cyprus prior to departure.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail and heavy fines.
There are restrictions on photographing military installations in both the north and south. English-language signs are generally posted in sensitive areas advising of the restrictions. Regardless of whether signs are posted or not, refrain from photographing military installations or personnel and comply with all requests from local authorities regarding the use of photographic equipment.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Liability insurance is mandatory. Vehicle insurance purchased in the Republic of Cyprus is not valid in the Turkish Cypriot area. A specific insurance is required by the Turkish Cypriot administration, including when driving rental cars.
The use of a cellular telephone while driving is prohibited, unless it is fitted with a hands-free device.
Helmets are required when riding on a motorcycle.
The use of seat belts and child car seats is required.
Seek independent legal advice if you consider the purchase, rental, advertisement or promotion of property in areas that are not under the effective control of the Government of Cyprus. There is a high probability that you will become the target of civil lawsuits and your ownership and involvement with that property may be challenged by Cypriots displaced in 1974.
The currency of the Republic of Cyprus is the euro (EUR).
Credit cards are widely accepted. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at most banks. Automated banking machines are available.
The euro can be used in transactions in the Turkish-occupied areas, although is not officially circulated. The new Turkish lira (YTL) is also in circulation in those areas.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the European Commission’s cash controls.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Cyprus is located in an active seismic zone and minor earthquakes are relatively common.
Beware of strong seas and undertows, and take note of warning signs on beaches.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Nicosia - Consulate of Canada
Athens - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate of Canada in Nicosia or the Embassy of Canada in Athens, Greece, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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