The health ministry’s epidemiological unit issued an updated risk-based classification of countries on Monday, with changes to come into effect on April 8.
According to the new categorisation, Thailand and South Korea move from category orange to green, while Denmark and Israel move from red to orange.
The health ministry said the categorisation of EU countries and the European Economic Area (Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway), including Switzerland is solely based on the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Regarding third countries (UK, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belarus, Qatar, Serbia, USA, Armenia, Georgia and Bahrain) and those included in the revised catalogue of the European Council recommendation for the gradual abolition of temporary restrictions for non-necessary trips to the EU, these will be assessed by the Ministry of Health and placed into the appropriate category.
The health ministry stressed that the categorisation of countries is based on an assessment of their epidemiological risk, which is extremely dynamic and can change at any time as the pandemic evolves and epidemiological data change.
Countries in the green category are Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Thailand. No certificates or self-restriction are necessary for passengers arriving from these countries.
The orange category includes EU members Portugal and Denmark and Schengen member Iceland, as well as the third countries China, Hong Kong, Macau and Israel. Passengers from these countries need to have a PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to their departure and to present a certificate proving a negative result.
Cypriot nationals and members of their families arriving from orange category countries may undergo a PCR test upon arrival. Also included in this category are persons who legally reside in Cyprus as well as those who are allowed to enter the Republic based on the Vienna Convention. The cost of these tests is covered by the travellers, who have to remain in self-isolation until results are issued.
Countries in the red category are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and small states Andorra, Monaco, Holy See, San Marino and Schengen countries Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Norway. Third countries include the UK, Rwanda, Russia, UAE, Ukraine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Belarus, Qatar, USA, Armenia, Georgia and Bahrain.
In this category double laboratory testing is required: that is, a negative laboratory PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure and another laboratory PCR test upon arrival in Cyprus. In this category, no self-isolation or quarantine measures apply. Cypriot citizens and legal residents of the Republic can opt to undergo laboratory testing upon arrival. In this case, self-isolation is mandatory, unless a coronavirus test conducted within 72 hours prior to departure is presented.
Regarding category Grey, the procedure for obtaining a special entry permit into the Republic shall be implemented for citizens of third countries (exempt from the requirement of a special permit are Cypriot citizens, persons lawfully residing in the Republic of Cyprus and European citizens). In this category, persons arriving in the Republic shall remain in compulsory self-isolation, in accordance with the relevant instructions of the ministry of health.