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COVID19: Israel, Lebanon knocked-off Cyprus entry list

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From Monday, Cyprus is allowing entry to more countries after health authorities have revised the list based on their COVID-19 epidemiological risk, but nearby Israel and Lebanon are not among them.

The Health Ministry issued a revised list of countries allowed entry to Cyprus effective from July 6.

It said the update it took into account the recommendation of the European Council dated June 30 for the gradual and coordinated lifting of travel bans to the EU.

That recommendation set back Cypriot tourism sector hopes of saving the season after Israel was removed from Category B to higher risk Category C countries where there are no regular flights to Cyprus.

Anyone coming from a Category C country is required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Israel is the island’s third-largest source of tourism behind Britain and Russia (also not on the approved travel list).

Flights coming from Lebanon, a country with which Cyprus has strong business ties, will no longer be accepted.

Jordan has also been knocked off the list.

However, it was also announced that given the improvement of the UK’s epidemiological situation, and provided this trend continues, Britain will be added to Category B as of August 1.

For the first time, Canada, New Zealand and Uruguay were included on the entry list.

Visitors from the 23 classified Category A countries are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test.

Arrivals from countries in Category B need proof they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight to Cyprus.

All passengers, irrespective of category, are obligated to submit an application online for CyprusFlightPass (https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/) within 24 hours before their flight departs.

For public health reasons and to monitor the epidemiological situation, random testing will take place among passenger arrivals in Cyprus.

Classification of countries is based on the reproduction rate R (t) for Covid-19, the number of new cases, the number of tests, the mortality rate per 100,000 people, the estimated prevalence and WHO indicators.

The ministry said classification of countries based on epidemiological risk is “exceptionally dynamic” and can change at any given moment as the pandemic develops.

Group A – Low-risk countries

These are countries with R (t) of below 1 and/or a small number of new cases (<1/100,000 inhabitants a day)  and/or very low COVID19 mortality  (<5-10/100,000 inhabitants) and/or sporadic cases or cluster of cases according to WHO and /or at least satisfactory tests (>3000 tests/100,000 residents):

EU members: 1) Austria, 2) Germany, 3) Denmark, 4) Greece, 5) Estonia, 6) Ireland, 7) Latvia, 8) Lithuania, 9) Malta, 10) Hungary, 11) Poland, 12) Slovakia, 13) Slovenia, 14) Finland

Members of Schengen: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland, 3) Liechtenstein, 4) Norway

Third countries: 1) Australia, 2) Japan, 3) Canada, 4) New Zealand, 5) South Korea

Group B – Countries

These are countries with R (t) above 1 and/or new cases of  >1/100,000 people a day and/or increased COVID-19 mortality (>10/100,000 people)  and/or limited lab tests  (<2000 tests/100,000 people) or lack of classification by WHO.

EU members: 1) Belgium, 2) Bulgaria, 3) France, 4) Spain, 5) Italy, 6) Croatia, 7) Luxembourg, 8) the Netherlands, 9) Romania, 10) the Czech Republic

Small nations: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino

Third countries: 1) Georgia, 2) Uruguay, 3) Serbia