Local
articles | 05 August 2020

Cyprus updates risk-based classification of countries

Cyprus on Tuesday issued an updated epidemiological risk-based classification of countries, including three amendments as regards Greece, Thailand and Morocco. The new classification will come into effect on August 6.

The updated three-tier classification system features the downgrading of Greece from category A to the higher-risk category B, a move that got a thumbs up from local experts in view of a relative spike currently being recorded in Greece, but which stirred reaction from Greek officials and disrupted holiday-goers who had already chosen Greece as a destination when travel to and from the country was unrestricted.

The updated list also saw Thailand upgraded from category B to category A, which allows visitors to fly into the island without restrictions and coronavirus test requirements, while Morocco was bumped down from category B to C.

According to a press release issued by the health ministry, the epidemiological outlook of various countries was re-evaluated, stressing that classification is a dynamic process that may be modified at any given moment as the pandemic develops and epidemiological data change.

The health ministry added that it took into account the recommendation issued by the European Council on June 30 as regards a gradual and coordinated lifting of travel bans within the EU.

Passengers coming from category A countries are not required to present a laboratory test certificate. Passengers coming from category B countries are required to have carried out a laboratory test by a government-recognised laboratory within a maximum of 72 hours prior to departure and to show proof of a negative coronavirus result at a Cyprus airport. In addition to being required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test, arrivals from category C countries are also obliged to self-isolate for two weeks.

A government-ordered random sampling program is also ongoing at the Republic’s Paphos and Larnaca airports, with daily tests conducted boosted from 600 to 1,000 on August 1, while particular focus has been placed on arrivals from Greece and the UK. 

Category A - Low-risk countries at the present stage

Countries with effective (Rt) reproduction number less than 1 or/and small number of new diagnosed outbreaks (<1/100,000 inhabitants per day) or/and low or very low mortality from COVID-19 (<5-10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and classification of sporadic cases or clusters of cases according to the WHO or/and at least satisfactory laboratory testing (>3000 tests/100,000 inhabitants) are classified in this category:

EU member states: Austria, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland.

Schengen members: Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway

Third countries: Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand

Category B - Countries with possible low risk but more uncertainty compared to those of category A

Countries with effective (Rt) reproduction number greater than 1 or/and number of new diagnosed outbreaks >1/100,000 inhabitants per day or/and increased mortality COVID-19 (>10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and limited laboratory testing (

EU member states: Belgium, France, Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic

United Kingdom

Small countries: Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino

Third countries: Australia, Ruanda, Tunisia, Uruguay, China

Category C – Countries with increased risk compared to categories A and B

Only specific groups of travellers from Group C countries are allowed to come to Cyprus

EU countries: Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden, Luxembourg, Romania

Third countries: Algeria, Serbia, Morocco, Montenegro

Source: Knews

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