Cyprus is a developed Mediterranean island nation divided "de facto" into two areas. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus is the internationally recognized authority on the island but, in practice, its control extends only to the Greek Cypriot southern part of the island. The northern area operates under an autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration. In 1983, this administration declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which is recognized only by Turkey. Facilities for tourism in the Republic of Cyprus are highly developed; most facilities in northern Cyprus, while adequate, tend to be smaller and less modern.
A passport is required. Tourist and business visas are issued at the port of entry for a stay of up to three months. For additional information concerning entry requirements for Cyprus, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus at 2211 R Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 462-5772, or the Consulate of Cyprus in New York, 13 E. 40th St., New York, New York, 10016, tel. (212) 686-6016. Overseas, travelers should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Cyprus. The Cyprus Tourism Authority's home page is located at http://www.cyprustourism.org.
Since 1974, the Cypriot Government has designated Larnaca and Paphos international airports, and the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos as the only legal points of entry into and exit from Cyprus. These ports are all in the government-controlled southern part of the island. Entry or exit via any other air or seaport is not authorized by the Cypriot Government. It is possible for visitors to arrive at non-designated airports and seaports in the north, but they should not expect to cross the United Nations-patrolled "green line" to the government-controlled areas in the south. Such travel is not permitted by the Government of Cyprus, even for transit purposes. Visitors arriving through designated ports of entry in the south normally are able to cross into the north for day trips. Policy and procedures regarding such travel are subject to change.
While civil disorder is uncommon in Cyprus, demonstrations sometimes occur, and there have been occasional violent incidents along the "green line" dividing the two sides of the island. Terrorist groups from the Middle East have occasionally used Cyprus as a site for carrying out acts of terrorism against third-country targets.
Cyprus has a low rate of crime. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables and protecting personal safety while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of Stateís pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad. It is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs or http://travel.state.gov.
Good medical facilities are available. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via its home page and autofax service.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Cyprus is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Condition/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Condition/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair
Cyprus has a modern highway system linking major cities and towns. However, secondary roads, especially in mountainous areas, tend to be narrow and winding and are less well maintained. Traffic moves on the left. Visitors to Cyprus should drive defensively because Cyprus has one of the highest road fatality rates in Europe.
For specific information concerning Cyprus driverís permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please visit the Cyprus Tourism Authority's home page at http://www.cyprustourism.org.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that countryís laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Cyprusís laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, and dealing in illegal drugs in Cyprus are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
There are restrictions on the photographing of military installations in both southern and northern Cyprus. English-language signs are generally posted in sensitive areas advising of the restrictions. However, visitors should refrain from photographing military installations and/or personnel regardless of whether warning signs are posted, and should comply with all reasonable requests from local authorities if confronted regarding the use of photographic equipment.
Americans living in or visiting Cyprus are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, and obtain updated information on travel and security in Cyprus. The U.S. Embassy in Nicosia is located at Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets, Engomi, tel. (357)(2) 776-400; Internet home pagehttp://www.americanembassy.org.cy. The U.S. Government also maintains an office in northern Cyprus at 6 Saran Street, Kaymakli, Nicosia, tel. (392) 225-2440.
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