The health ministry has updated the classification of countries as regards Covid-19 and how this impacts arriving passengers. Four countries have been downgraded and two upgraded.
There have been no changes for Cyprus’ major travel partners Greece and the UK.
Under the new rules that come into effect on September 18:
Estonia has been moved from category A to B.
Australia has been moved from B to A.
Georgia has been moved from A to B.
Czechia has been moved from B to C.
Hungary has been moved from B to C.
Rwanda has been moved from C to B.
While Cyprus’ biggest tourist market – Britain – remains unaffected, category B status.
Cyprus’ second and third biggest markets, Russia and Israel, remain in category C and effectively closed to tourism.
Just last week Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said that there was interest from the Russian and Israeli markets if Cyprus were to upgrade their travel status.
Since then, Israel has entered an unprecedented second national lockdown and data released by Russia’s Rosstat State Statistics Service on Sept. 4 show there were 57,800 excess deaths between May and July, the peak of the outbreak. The number of excess deaths is three times higher than the Russian government’s official coronavirus death toll.
Passengers coming from category A countries are not required to present a laboratory Covid-19 test certificate or go into self-isolation.
People arriving from category B countries are required to present a negative coronavirus test (PCR) not older than 72 hours. Cypriot nationals and their families and permanent residents can get tested upon arrival in Cyprus. Persons, irrespective of nationality, whose countries of residence do not provide a laboratory testing service (in public or private sectors) to those wishing to travel to the Republic of Cyprus can also get tested upon their arrival.
At the moment only Italy is on the list of countries where there is not possibility of obtaining a PCR test for travel purposes.
Arrivals from category C countries are allowed only for specific categories of citizens (primarily Cypriots and residents) who have the possibility to choose whether to undergo a Covid-19 test upon their arrival in Cyprus or have with them a negative RT-PCR test certificate not older than 72 hours.
People who arrive from category C countries must self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival. They are also obliged to take a PCR coronavirus test 48 hours prior to the expiration of their self-isolation. They must then send the results to [email protected] .
As it stands, there are only ten countries in category A and they are Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand.
As for category B, the countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, UK, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Vatican City, San Marino, Uruguay, China, Japan, Georgia and Rwanda.
Those listed in category C are Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Malta, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czechia, Andorra and Monaco. Also in category C are countries not included in categories A and B.