An updated epidemiological risk assessment of countries for Covid was issued on Saturday by the health ministry that leaves only four countries in Category A – those considered safest for travel, while adding more to Category C, the least safest.

The differences compared with the previous assessment on November 2020, are as follows and take effect from January 18, 2021:

Serbia moves from Category B to Category C
Sweden from Category B to Category C
Latvia from Category B to Category C
Lithuania from Category B to Category C
Japan from Category A to Category B
Estonia from Category B to Category C
Iceland from Category C to Category B
Denmark from Category B to Category C
Uruguay from Category B to C
South Korea from Category A to Category B.

According to the ministry of health, the epidemiological picture of different countries was re-evaluated by the epidemiological surveillance unit. The assessment was based on the epidemiological indicators of the countries, such as: its actual R (t) number, the number of new cases, the number of tests, the mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated prevalence and the impact and classification by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

New data therefore will determine further changes periodically and the list will be updated. For now, it’s as follows:

Category A – Low risk countries at this stage

Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) Singapore, 4) Thailand

Passengers coming from Category A countries are not required to present a Covid negative test, nor do they need to self-isolate.

Category B

Member States of the European Union: 1) Germany, 2) Greece, 3) Finland

Members of the Schengen Area: 1) Iceland, 2) Norway

Third Countries: 1) Japan, 2) China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 3) South Korea, 4) Rwanda

Passengers coming from Category B countries are required to have a laboratory test within 72 hours before departure and to have a certificate proving a negative PCR test.

The ministry clarified that the following passengers coming from Category B countries may undergo the PCR test on arrival: Cypriot citizens and their family members (their foreign spouses, minor children and parents legally residing in the Republic, persons entitled under the Vienna Convention, persons regardless of nationality coming from a country of residence where no laboratory test public or private is provided.

The cost of the test is covered by the passenger and in addition these individuals should remain self-isolated until their test results are issued.

Category C

Member States of the European Union: 1) Austria, 2) Belgium, 3) Bulgaria, 4) France, 5) Denmark, 6) Estonia, 7) Ireland, 8) Spain, 9) Italy, 10) Croatia, 11) Latvia, 12) Lithuania, 13) Luxembourg, 14) Malta, 15) Netherlands, 16) Hungary, 17) Poland, 18) Portugal, 19) Romania, 20) Slovakia, 21 ) Slovenia, 22) Sweden, 23) Czech Republic,

United Kingdom

Small States: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino

Schengen Area Members: 1) Switzerland, 2) Liechtenstein

Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Morocco, 3) Montenegro, 4) Serbia, 5) Uruguay

These countries have an increased risk, the ministry said.

Only certain categories of citizens are allowed to enter the Republic from Category C countries who have the opportunity to choose to undergo a diagnostic test on arrival in Cyprus or to have a PCR negative within 72 hours of departure for Cyprus.

These individuals must also either undergo a PCR test on the 10th day of self-isolation at their own expense, or they can be released from self-isolation on the 14th day if they are not positive, according to the guidelines of the ministry of health.

All passengers, regardless of country category, are required to apply for CyprusFlightPass within 24 hours of departure.

In addition, there will also be random testing on arrival at the island’s airports.