articles | 27 July 2021

Cyprus announces new country categorizations after re-evaluating epidemiological situation

Following a decision of the Council of Ministers, on 18 February 2021, regarding the Action Plan for the gradual resumption of flights and the re-opening of airports, the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Health has made a re-evaluation of the epidemiological situation in various countries as regards Covid-19.

According to a ministry of health announcement, circulated by PIO, the categorization for the countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) as well as Switzerland, in the Green, Orange or Red Categories, is based upon that of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

With regard to third countries (United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belarus, Qatar, Serbia, United States of America, Armenia, Georgia, Bahrein), in addition to Kuwait and Canada as of 1/6/21, as well as those countries included in the updated list of the European Council Recommendation (EU) 2021/89 for the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions for non-essential travel within the EU, these are evaluated epidemiologically by the Ministry of health and are categorized into the Green, Orange and Red categories.

The following categorization of countries, based on the epidemiological risk assessment, is extremely dynamic and may be modified at any moment as the pandemic evolves and the epidemiological data changes. For this reason, new data will be announced and the list of countries will be updated frequently, it is noted.

Green Category countries – Low risk countries at current stage

European Union member states: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic
Small states: Monaco, Vatican City
Schengen members: Iceland, Norway
Third countries: Australia, North Macedonia, Jordan, Canada, New Zealand, Serbia, Singapore

It is noted that passengers coming from the Green Category countries are not required to hold a COVID-19 test certificate or self-isolate.

Orange Category countries – Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to the Green Category
European Union member states: Belgium, France, Greece, Estonia, Finland
Schengen members: Switzerland, Liechtenstein
Third countries: Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, United States of America, Japan, Israel, Qatar, China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Bahrein, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia

It is noted that passengers coming from Orange Category countries shall be required to undergo a PCR laboratory test within 72 hours prior to departure and to possess a certificate showing a negative PCR result.

It is also clarified that passengers from Orange Category countries, falling into the following categories, may undergo the molecular examination upon arrival in the Republic:
1. Cypriot citizens and family members (alien spouses and their underage children),
2. Persons legally residing in the Republic,
3. Persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention, and
4. Persons, irrespective of nationality, whose countries of residence (Orange category) do not provide a laboratory testing service, upon substantiation and following an announcement by the ministry of health of the Republic of Cyprus.
It is noted that the examination cost will be borne by themselves and in addition, such persons shall remain in self-isolation until the test result is issued.

Red Category countries – Increased risk countries compared to the Green and Orange Categories:
European Union member states: Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal
Small states: Andorra, San Marino
Third countries: Egypt, Albania, Armenia, Georgia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Belarus, Montenegro, Moldova, Brunei, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia

It is noted that passengers coming from Red Category countries shall be required to: a) undergo a PCR laboratory test within 72 hours prior to departure proving a negative PCR result and b) undergo a laboratory test upon their arrival in the Republic of Cyprus.

The examination cost will be borne by themselves and in addition, such persons should remain in self-isolation until the test result is issued.

The following categories of passengers may enter the Republic of Cyprus from Red Category countries, after having undergone, at their own expense, a laboratory test only upon their arrival in the Republic of Cyprus:
1. Cypriot citizens and family members (alien spouses and their underage children),
2. Persons legally residing in the Republic, and
3. Persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention.
In such case, persons falling within the categories 1-3 above must remain in mandatory self-isolation for 72 hours upon arrival and after the end of the 72-hour period they must undergo another PCR test, at their own expense. If the repeat test is negative, they can then terminate their isolation. The test result must be sent to the following email address: monada@mphs.moh.gov.cy.

Grey Category countries (Special Permission):
Countries that are not mentioned in the aforementioned categories (green, orange and red) are considered to belong in the Grey Category (Special Permission). For the Grey Category countries, entry into the Republic of Cyprus is only allowed for the following categories of passengers:
1. Cypriot citizens and family members (alien spouses and their underage children),
2. European citizens and citizens of European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland,
3. Persons legally residing in the Republic,
4. Persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention, and
5. Third country nationals who are allowed to enter the Republic of Cyprus following a special permission from the Republic, as this is defined in the Quarantine Decree (N.9) of 2021, as this is modified each time.

It is noted that passengers coming from countries of this Category shall be required to undergo a laboratory test at a certified lab within 72 hours prior to departure for Cyprus and to possess a certificate showing a negative PCR result. Excluding category number 2 above, the rest of the passengers may undergo the laboratory test upon their arrival in the Republic of Cyprus, at their own expense.

Passengers arriving in the Republic of Cyprus from the Grey Category countries (Special Permission) shall remain in mandatory self-isolation or mandatory quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days or alternatively, in mandatory self-isolation or mandatory quarantine for a period of seven (7) days provided that they undergo another Covid-19 test (at their own expense) on the 7th day and the result comes back negative.

It is noted that the above categorization of countries shall take effect on 29 July 2021.

Conditions applied to vaccinated passengers

The ministry of health clarifies that the following apply, as of 10 May, to vaccinated passengers arriving in the Republic of Cyprus from its points of entry:
Passengers holding a valid certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 arriving in Cyprus from abroad, regardless of their nationality and country of departure, shall be exempted from the obligation of laboratory testing and self-isolation/quarantine, subject to the following conditions:
1) They hold a valid certificate of vaccination issued by the following states:
(i) EU Member States (including Cyprus), (ii) EEA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), (iii) Switzerland, (iv) Israel, (v) United Kingdom, (vi) Russia, (vii) United Arab Emirates, (viii) Saudi Arabia, (ix) Ukraine, (x) Jordan, (xi) Lebanon, (xii) Egypt, (xiii) Belarus, (xiv) Serbia, (xv) Qatar, (xvi) Bahrein, (xvii) United States of America, (xviii) Armenia, (xix) Georgia, (xx) Canada (xxi) Kuwait, and (xxii) China.

2) They have been vaccinated either with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen), or with Sputnik V vaccine, or with Sinopharm vaccine (BBIBP Covid-19), or with Sinovac vaccine, and have completed their vaccination scheme. It is noted that for vaccines that are administered in two doses, passengers must have been administered both doses, while for the Janssen vaccine (single dose vaccine) 14 days must have elapsed between the administration of the vaccine and the date of travel. More information is available on: https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/vaccinated-passengers.

It is also noted that all passengers, regardless of the country’s category, including those holding a valid certificate of vaccination, are obliged to apply for the CyprusFlightPass 48 hours before the departure of their flight. Moreover, for the protection of public health and the monitoring of the epidemiological situation, passengers of selected flights (including passengers holding a vaccination certificate) may undergo a random laboratory molecular testing carried out by the ministry of health.

Source: In-Cyprus

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