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Coronavirus: Ministry postpones transition to new arrivals rules to February 1

Citing measures introduced to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the transport ministry said on Monday that it was postponing the start of the transitional period for a new regime governing flight arrivals to Cyprus, from the initial launch of January 15 to February 1.

Presented by Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos last December, the new plan is due to enter into full force on March 1.

It will change the method of classifying countries – currently A, B and C, to a colour code, in line with ECDC guidelines.

Moreover, people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will not have to present a negative PCR test certificate upon their arrival.

“The amended action plan is expected to further boost the interest of airline companies to carry out additional flights to Cyprus, improve connectivity and increase passenger traffic,” the minister had said in December when presenting the plan.

As regards country categorisation, category A will be replaced by the ‘Green Category’, for which there will be no restrictions.

Category B will be replaced by the ‘Orange Category’, which will require a negative PCR test certificate not older than 72 hours prior to departure, a practice that is applied today.

Category C will be replaced by the ‘Red Category’, which will require two negative PCR tests, one within 72 hours before departure and another upon arrival in Cyprus. No self-isolation measures apply in this category.

The action plan introduced a fourth category, the ‘Grey’ one or the ‘special permit category’. Passengers arriving from countries in this category will have to submit a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours before departure and must self-isolate upon arrival in accordance with the instructions of the health ministry.

These categories are in line with the guidelines of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The health ministry will categorise countries based on the weekly evaluation of the ECDC. In cases of countries not assessed by the ECDC, this evaluation will be done by the health ministry.

EU countries, European Economic Area countries including the United Kingdom and Switzerland, countries on the European Council’s list of third countries, and Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Belarus will be classified in the Green, Orange and Red categories.

Other third countries not listed above will be classified in the Grey one and passengers from these destinations will require a special permit to enter Cyprus. Cypriot citizens, people legally residing in the Republic of Cyprus and European citizens arriving from Grey category countries do not need a special permit.

As regards testing, only Cypriot citizens, their spouses and children, people living permanently in the Republic of Cyprus, and those allowed to enter the Republic in accordance with the Vienna Convention will be able to get tested upon arrival.

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