As a second wave crashes down on Europe, Cyprus’ safe travel list has just six countries not needing a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry, none of them are from the EU.
With epidemiological data deteriorating across Europe and, as of Monday Cyprus will be knocking five countries, including the last three EU countries, entirely off the travel list.
Germany and another two EU countries, Finland and Latvia will be demoted from Category A (no test needed) to B (test needed before entry).
The Health Ministry has deemed Iceland, Lichtenstein and EU states Ireland, Poland, and Italy as not safe enough to be included on the travel list.
The only country to be upgraded is Japan, which moves from Category B to A.
This is the first time that no EU country is listed in category A since the airports reopened in June after the first wave of COVID-19.
Changes to the travel status of each country come into effect from November 9.
Entry to Cyprus from category C countries is only allowed for Cypriots, residents, and people with a special permit.
People arriving from these countries need to carry a coronavirus negative test, undergo another test upon arrival and then self-isolate for 14 days.
Arrivals from category C countries will need to repeat the test (at own expense) 48 hours before ending their 14-day self-isolation.
Visitors from the just six classified Category A countries (down from 11 on September 28) 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 of boarding their flight to Cyprus.
All passengers, irrespective of category must apply online for CyprusFlightPass (https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/) within 24 hours of departure.
Cypriots have the option of paying for a test (€60) on their return.
Passenger arrivals are also randomly tested at the airports.
Category A – Low-risk countries
Countries with an effective reproduction (Rt) number lower than 1 or/and a small number of new diagnoses (<1/100,000 inhabitants per day) or/and small or very small COVID-19 mortality (<5-10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and classification of sporadic cases or clusters of cases according to the WHO or/and at least satisfactory lab testing (>3000 tests/100,000 inhabitants).
Third countries: 1) Australia, 2) Thailand, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea, 5) Japan, 6) Singapore
Category B – medium risk
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.
This category now includes 16 countries, down from 20.
EU member states: 1) UK, 2) Germany, 3) Greece, 4) Latvia, 5) Lithuania, 6) Estonia, 7) Greece, 8) Denmark, 9) Sweden
Members of Schengen: 1) Norway,
Small nations: 1) the Vatican, 2) San Marino
Third Countries: 1) Uruguay, 2) China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 3) Serbia, 4), Ruanda
Category C – High-risk countries
EU Member States: 1) Bulgaria, 2) France, 3) Croatia, 4) Luxemburg, 5) Romania, 6) Spain, 7) Malta, 8) Netherlands, 9) Hungary, 10) Czech Republic, 11) Austria, 12) Slovenia, 13) Portugal, 14) Belgium, 15) Slovakia, 16) Ireland, 17) Italy, 18) Poland
Small States: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco
Members of Schengen: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland, 3) Lichtenstein
Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Morocco, 3) Montenegro
All countries not included in categories A or B are placed in this category.
Some of the countries which are of high risk according to their epidemiological picture are mentioned above.
Meanwhile, just as Cyprus saw the rate of daily cases gradually subside, Thursday saw a new record of 233 SARS-CoV-2, half of which were identified through contact tracing from confirmed coronavirus infections.
At the end of September, the number of cases reached 1,755, they are now at 5,333.
Some 65% of all COVID-19 cases since the outbreak in early March were reported in the past five weeks, while the death toll remains relatively low at 26.
However, the number of patients in hospitals with COVID-19 has dangerously increased to 65 on Thursday, according to Health Ministry reports.
Limassol is the island’s virus hotspot with 420 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Paphos with 294.