The cabinet on Wednesday decreed that all passengers from category A and B countries arriving in Cyprus must self-isolate for 72 hours and take a PCR test within 72 hours after that.
For category B countries this is in addition to having to produce a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Random airport testing will also continue. Until now, category A countries did not have any restrictions placed on them.
All passengers, regardless of country of departure, must complete the CyprusFlightPass online.
The cabinet said the additional steps would strengthen the measures in place for a reopening to tourism.
The change takes place from Saturday February 6. The cost of the PCR test taken after 72 hours of arrival will be borne by the passenger.
The decision took into account international data on increased transmissibility and the aggressive spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus, but also the strong concerns caused at a European level by their detection in several member states of the EU.
“Today’s decision strengthens the ministry of health’s effort, in line with the ECDC recommendations, to control the spread of new strains in the community, until the effects of the virus mutations are scientifically assessed,” a statement said.
Country categories were last revised on January 16 as follows:
Category A – Low risk countries at this stage
Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) Singapore, 4) Thailand
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
Category C – Countries at increased risk compared with categories A and B. Nothing has changed in the cabinet decision related to these countries
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
Small states: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino
Members of the Schengen Area: 1) Switzerland, 2) Liechtenstein
Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Morocco, 3) Montenegro, 4) Serbia, 5) Uruguay
Arrivals from category C countries are allowed only for specific categories of citizens (primarily Cypriots and Cyprus 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 also 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.