COVID19: Romania, Luxembourg relegated from ‘safe’ list

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From 23 July, Cyprus will not allow entry to visitors from Romania and Luxembourg, taking them off the ‘safe’ travel list after health authorities revised their COVID-19 risk upward.

These two countries have dropped off category B due to their worsening coronavirus data while six countries were added to this category including Algeria, Morocco, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, and China.

The change comes after some travellers from Romania were found to be positive for coronavirus while carrying proof, they tested negative before arriving in Cyprus.

Romania’s epidemiological data has also worsened as daily cases more than doubled from the beginning of the month.

The country’s health authorities are now reporting around 700 cases a day, 889 on Saturday, up from under 400 in early July.

Luxembourg has seen a resurgence in cases going from a couple of dozen at the beginning of July to reporting 163 on 16 July and another 122 on Sunday.

The Health Ministry issued a revised list after earlier last week relegating Serbia from its safe country list and demoting Australia to category B.

In revaluating its travel list, the ministry said the update 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 had set back Cypriot tourism sector hopes of saving the season as it saw Israel removed from Category B to a higher risk country where there are no regular flights to Cyprus.

Britain, Cyprus’ biggest travel market when it comes to tourist arrivals, is expected to be added to the category B list from 1 August.

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

The UK is currently in category C along with Sweden, Portugal, Serbia, Montenegro and now Romania and Luxembourg.

Visitors from the 22 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, passenger arrivals are randomly tested.

Classification of countries is based on their 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) Japan, 2) Canada, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea

Group B

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.

The Category now includes 21 countries from 17 in the previous evaluation.

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

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

Third countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Australia, 3) Georgia, 4) Morocco, 5) Ruanda, 6) Thailand, 7) Tunisia, 8) Uruguay, 9) China