cyprus



Location: Southeastern Europe/Mediterranean
Capital: Nicosia

Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 2 hours
Daylight savings time: during northern hemisphere summer
Current time: 06:07
Population: 858,000
Currency: euro
Dialling code: +357
Internet suffix: .cy

Cyprus is an island country in the eastern Mediterranean. It has a long history and pleasant climate, but suffered a bloody split in the twentieth century, the effects of which are still felt today.

Nonetheless, it remains a broadly safe part of the world. It is a popular tourist destination and a member of the Commonwealth and the European Union.

Additional territory information
For further analysis and information on Northern Cyprus please click here.


Overall security situation: mostly secure
Crime rate: very low
Murder rate: very low
Gun ownership levels: extremely high
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no

While the country remains divided as a result of a vicious conflict in the twentieth century, it is nonetheless a very stable part of the world from a security perspective. Institutions are well-developed, society is content and both sides of the conflict remain in constructive, if protracted dialogue over reconciliation.

The crime rate is low with limited petty crime, infrequent violent crime and generally good police coverage. While the country has one of the highest guns-per-people ratios in the world, they are rarely used in criminality. Murders are very uncommon.

Civil unrest poses a very low risk. Demonstrations are usually infrequent, peaceful, orderly and professionally managed.

Terrorism poses a low risk, comparable to other parts of southern Europe, but terrorist activity has been detected in recent years so the risk is not non-existent.


Aviation safety levels: potential concerns
Annual road fatality rates: low
Vehicles drive on the: left
Infrastructure quality: poor
Urban ATM availability: good
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: consistent
Plug types: G

Plug type G (3 rectangular pins, grounded/earthed)



Is tap water drinkable: yes but some travellers may experience an upset stomach
Healthcare quality: among the best healthcare provision in the world
Infectious disease prevalence: extremely low

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)

Disease presence

Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: rare/non-existent
Rabies prevalence: rare/non-existent
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: intermediate
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none

Typhoid fever presence: endemic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters
Terrain: central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast
Natural disaster risk: very low
Natural hazards: moderate earthquake activity; droughts; extreme temperatures; storms;
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no


Government type: republic (a separation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974, following a Greek military-junta-supported coup attempt that gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 then Turkish Cypriot “President” Rauf DENKTAS declared independence and the formation of a “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”), which is recognized only by Turkey)
Socio-economic development score: 9/10 (very high levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 99.1%
Unemployment rate: moderately high
Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: sub-investment grade / speculative grade / junk status
Corruption levels: fairly low
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: Greek (official) 80.9%, Turkish (official) 0.2%, English 4.1%, Romanian 2.9%, Russian 2.5%, Bulgarian 2.2%, Arabic 1.2%, Filipino 1.1%, other 4.3%, unspecified 0.6%
Ethnic groups: Greek 98.8%, other 1% (includes Maronite, Armenian, Turkish-Cypriot), unspecified 0.2%
Beliefs: Orthodox Christian 89.1%, Roman Catholic 2.9%, Protestant/Anglican 2%, Muslim 1.8%, Buddhist 1%, other (includes Maronite, Armenian Church, Hindu) 1.4%, unknown 1.1%, none/atheist 0.6%

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.

Safe country guidelines

  • Even in relatively safe parts of the world, accidents, illnesses and other incidents can still affect traveller safety.
  • Make sure you know how to find help if you need it (such as the local emergency service numbers).
  • There may still be a risk of opportunistic crime so be mindful of your belongings and take responsibility for your own actions.

Aviation safety

  • Try to use reputable airlines.
  • Check the safety records of any companies you use to charter flights.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance of travel – particularly for domestic flights.
  • Consider delaying your trip or using an alternative means of transport rather than taking a risky flight.

Seismic activity

  • Be prepared to respond at short notice to any seismic activity.
  • Create an emergency plan to follow in the event of an incident that involves a communications breakdown, so you can meet colleagues at a designated meeting point if you are separated and cannot get in contact with one another.
  • Practise drills such as “drop, seek cover and hold on” procedure so that you can take shelter as soon as an incident occurs.
  • Know the location of your nearest medical kit and medically trained personnel.
  • Knowledge of basic first aid will also be very useful.
  • Get away from glass or anything that could fall if shaking starts.
  • Consider carrying a whistle that can be used to alert first responders in the event that you are trapped after an earthquake – although bear in mind that in some circumstances and/or locations there may not be much in the way of first response capabilities, particularly following a damaging earthquake.
  • In the event of an incident, avoid damaged buildings that might still be at risk of collapse.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Note that earthquakes can trigger tsunamis and landslides so be prepared to move out of harm’s way once the shaking has stopped.
  • You may need to move very quickly and with limited time.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.

Terrorism

  • Terrorism can pose a risk, even in otherwise mostly safe countries.
  • Assess the trends and tactics of any relevant terrorist organisations with the potential for targeting your location and identify potential targets.
  • Be vigilant in and around these areas, which could include crowded places, symbolic or sensitive political sites, or busy restaurant, nightlife or tourist spots.
  • Use your judgement on the frequency of incidents taking place. Just because an incident has taken place in a certain city does not mean that the city will regularly be hit again – use rational judgement to decide whether or not there is a likelihood that you will be caught up in any future incidents.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to react at short notice in the event of an incident.
  • In the event of an incident, get out of the area quickly if it is safe to do so.
  • Alternatively hide and try to keep out of harm’s way.
  • In most cases you should only try to help other people if it is safe for you to do so.
  • Keep quiet and notify the relevant authorities, colleagues or loved ones only when you are out of danger.