Coronavirus: Cyprus updates country categories, entry requirements

01/03/2021

The health ministry on Saturday announced the updated list of countries under the traffic-light system in view of the reopening of airports on March 1.

The epidemiological picture of 19 different countries was re-evaluated by the surveillance unit of the ministry of health and classified into Green, Orange, Red categories based on the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) as well as an added Grey category for arrivals requiring a special permit.

All passengers, despite the country category are obliged to apply for the CyprusFlightPass within 24 hours before the departure of their flight, the health ministry said.

Moreover, random coronavirus tests will be carried out on selected passengers at the airport.

Low-risk countries are under the Green category and include Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Passengers arriving from these countries do not require to self-isolate or carry a negative coronavirus test but they will undergo a PCR laboratory test upon arrival in Cyprus for the period March1 to 31, the cost of which will be covered by the republic.

As of April 1, there will be no restrictions for these countries.

Orange countries are those with low risk but probably more doubt than those in the Green category. Passengers are required to have undergone a PCR laboratory test within 72 hours before departure and to have a certificate proving they tested negative for the virus.

Denmark, Finland, Norway, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, Thailand are under the Orange category.

Passengers from those countries may undergo the coronavirus test upon arrival at their own expense and remain in self-isolation pending the results if they are; Cypriot citizens or their family members (foreign spouses, and minor children), legal persons residing in the Republic, persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention, and persons regardless of nationality, where documented and following an announcement by the health ministry of Cyprus, or where the authorities of the country (Orange category) residing, do not provide laboratory analysis service.

Under the Grey category are third countries including the United Kingdom, Israel, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Belarus, and Rwanda.

Passengers arriving from these countries are allowed entry after the granting of special permission if they are Cypriot citizens and their family members (their foreign spouses and their minor children), European citizens or citizens of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland, legal persons residing in the Republic, persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention, and third-country nationals entitled to enter the Republic of Cyprus after special permission from the republic.

Apart from the special permission, passengers must have undergone a laboratory coronavirus test in the last 72 hours before their trip and have a certificate they tested negative for Covid-19.

Grey category passengers must remain in self-isolation for 14 days or for ten if they choose to carry out another coronavirus test with a negative result.

Up to March 31, people arriving from the United Kingdom must undergo a test upon arrival at Larnaca and Paphos airports, and are transported at state expense to hotels for a mandatory seven-day isolation. If they test negative after a week, those passengers are instructed to self-isolate for another three days at home.

The rest of the countries belong to the Red category and are considered high risk. Any arrivals from those countries must have conducted laboratory tests within 72 hours before departure and have a certificate proving the negative Covid-19 PCR test and undergo a laboratory coronavirus test upon arrival in the island. The cost of the test is covered by them and they will have to remain under isolation until the result is issued.

Exceptions are made for Cypriot citizens and their family members (their foreign spouses and their minor children), persons legally residing in the Republic, persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention who reside in Red country categories. People belonging in the above categories may travel to Cyprus and undergo a PCR test upon arrival but they must still self-isolate for 72 hours. After 72 hours they must undergo another PCR test at their own expense.

The ministry added that the categorization of countries can be changed at any time according to evolving differing data.