The Department of Foreign Affairs warned tourists to take cash with them to Cyprus “alongside appropriate security precautions against theft”; ATMs, debit and credit cards can be used as normal, say the Department. Om the ground the story is a little different, with merchants worried about any money going into their account and turning down credit and debit cards. Cyprus is not a good place to be relying on plastic this week. The banks will remain closed until Tuesday but the ATMs, despite alarmist predictions, are well stocked. English travel commentator Simon Calder summed up tourist’s dilemma: the banking system has basically frozen. For what it is like to operate without plastic, ask any of the Irish fans who went to the Serbia-Ireland match in Belgrade in November 1998. Luckily not many Irish are in Cyprus at the moment. There are no direct flights to Cyprus from Ireland until May 26th.