Vaccinated passengers and those who have recovered from Covid-19 will be exempted from travel regulations based on the epidemiological categorisation of their country according to the new national travel regulations to be in force as of March 1.

In a second decision, the cabinet reduced the self-isolation period from 14 to 10 days, for people who are close contacts of a confirmed positive. The decision enters into force on January 24. Release earlier than 10 days can be done by PCR laboratory test with a negative result on the 7th day after contact at a person’s own expense. Those who have received their booster or seven months have not passed since their second jab do not have to self-isolate.

The new action plan, which was approved by cabinet on Wednesday, provides that as of March 1, countries will be categorised in three categories, Green, Red and Grey, based on their epidemiological situation.

The previous green and orange categories as listed in the European centre for disease prevention and control (ECDC) will correspond to the national Green category, while red and dark red countries will be listed in the red category.

Under the new rules, passengers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or have recovered from the virus, regardless of whether their country is listed red or green, will be exempt to meet the requirements of the respective category.

Those people may enter the Republic with a valid vaccination certificate issued by the competent authorities of their home country, including third countries, or a certificate showing they have recovered from coronavirus issued by a country included in the EU Digital Certificate System COVID (EUDCC).

The certificate will be acceptable only if it has been issued by the public authorities of the states and if the vaccine concerns Janssen, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik V, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin, Sputnik Light (only as a booster dose in basic vaccination scheme) and Novavax Nuvaxovid Covid 19.

Passengers aged 18 and over must have received a booster dose of the above vaccines if a period of nine months has elapsed since their second dose. If not, they will fall into the unvaccinated category for the purposes of the travel rules.

People who have two jabs may still travel to and from Cyprus without a test or the need to self-isolate for up to nine months after their second jab.

Children under the age of 18 will be exempt from testing and self-isolation if they are fully vaccinated, meaning if they have received both doses of the jab or one dose from a single-dose vaccine and the time frame for travel purposes specified at the CyprusFlightPass website has elapsed.

In the case of a certificate of recovery, the travel date must not exceed 180 days from the first positive diagnosis.

Passengers aged 6 and over who have not been vaccinated or do not hold a valid certificate of recovery regardless of nationality, will be required to meet certain requirements based on the categorisation of the country from where they are traveling from.

Those traveling from countries in the green category must carry out a PCR test no longer than 72 hours prior to departure or a rapid antigen test carried out no longer than 24 hours prior to departure.

Red category passengers will have to abide to the same testing rules as those coming from Green category countries, but they will also be required to carry out a PCR test upon arrival at the airport. The cost will be borne by the passenger.

Meanwhile, only specific population groups from Grey category counties will be allowed entry to the Republic.

These concern Cypriot citizens and their family members including foreign spouses and their underage children, persons legally residing in the Republic or entitled to enter the Republic in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

European citizens, citizens of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland as well as persons who are nationals of third countries and are entitled to enter the Republic of Cyprus, after obtaining a special permit on the electronic platform CyprusFlightPass will also be allowed entry.

If people aged 6 and older belonging in these groups are unvaccinated or do not have a certificate of recovery must follow the rules provided for red country passengers, as well as remain in mandatory self-isolation 14 days or 7 days provided they test negative with a PCR test on the seventh day. The cost for the test is borne on the individuals.

As of March, passengers will no longer be obliged to isolate in tourist accommodations bearing the costs. With regard to passengers who have not been vaccinated or do not hold a valid vaccination or convalescence certificate and belong to the cases of domestic workers or any other persons who have obtained prior permission to work in the Republic from the competent ministries and departments, as well as to the cases of workers in the agricultural/livestock sector, the previous decision of the Council of Ministers regarding the obligation of prepayment and quarantine in tourist accommodation in the Republic shall cease to apply. It is understood, however, that for such passengers the corresponding Grey Category conditions above will also apply.

Also, a previous measure that allowed testing on arrival for Cypriot citizens and their foreign spouses and underage children who legally reside in the Republic, and for persons entitled to enter the Republic in accordance with the Vienna Convention, will cease to exist.

All passengers are still required to complete the CyprusFlightPass within 48 hours before their flight and they must also comply with random coronavirus tests at the airports.