Cyprus has reassessed its colour-coded COVID-19 safe travel risk, downgrading Ireland back to the red category while opening up to 16 other countries, including the UK, Russia, and Israel.
Based on Cyprus’ three-tier list, safe countries are categorised as Green, Orange, Red, with arrivals allowed entry without quarantine once March restrictions end.
The additional Grey tier is for arrivals from non-EU countries that require special permission and have to self-isolate.
However, in a bid to increase tourist arrivals, in line with the guidelines of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), authorities have decided to move 16 countries from Grey into the Red category.
From 1 April, Cyprus will be moving the UK, Israel, Russia, the UAE, Ukraine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Belarus, Rwanda, Serbia, USA, Armenia, Georgia, Bahrain, and Qatar into the red.
This means travellers from these countries are allowed entry if they carry a negative coronavirus test, no older than 72 hours, and take another upon arrival.
Cypriot authorities are trying to encourage tourists from third countries, including its three largest markets, the UK, Russia, and Israel, believing the move will increase air connectivity.
Tourists from the UK and Israel, who can prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19, will be allowed entry into Cyprus without getting tested or quarantine.
Although the light system allows entry for visitors from 56 countries, a rise in coronavirus cases internationally has led to restrictions introduced for March.
Until March 31, low-risk Green category arrivals will be asked to undergo a PCR laboratory test upon arrival in Cyprus, the cost of which will be covered by the Republic, while travellers from Orange and Red countries must have two tests, one upon arrival.
UK arrivals must undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival at Larnaca or Paphos Airports, and they are transported to designated hotels – free of charge – for mandatory 7-day isolation.
After that, they undergo another PCR test, and if negative, they will remain in self-isolation for another three days.
Under the new COVID assessment scheme, low-risk countries currently classified in the Green category are Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia.
Passengers arriving from these countries do not require to self-isolate or carry a negative coronavirus test as of 1 April.
Orange countries are those of higher risk than green.
Passengers must have undergone a PCR laboratory test within 72 hours before departure and have a certificate proving they tested negative for the virus.
EU member states 1) Portugal.
Third countries: 1) China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 2) South Korea, 3) Thailand.
Passengers from these countries can undergo the coronavirus test upon arrival at their own expense and remain in self-isolation pending the results if they are Cypriot citizens or residents.
This category includes countries of higher risk than orange.
Passengers coming from red category countries are required: a) to have proof of a negative PCR test carried out under 72 hours before departure, and b) undergo a laboratory test upon arrival in the Republic of Cyprus.
The cost of the test is charged to the individual.
EU member states: 1) Austria, 2) Belgium, 3) Bulgaria, 4) France, 5) Croatia, 6) Luxembourg, 7) Romania, 8) Spain, 9) Italy, 10) Greece, 11) Malta , 12) Netherlands, 13) Hungary, 14) Poland, 15) Finland, 16) Slovakia, 17) Slovenia, 18) Czech Republic, 19) Estonia, 20) Latvia, 21) Lithuania, 22) Sweden, 23) Germany, 24 ) Denmark, 25) Ireland
Members of the Schengen Area: 1) Switzerland, 2) Liechtenstein, 3) Norway
Small states: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino
Non-EU: 1) United Kingdom, 2) Israel, 3) Russia, 4) United Arab Emirates, 5) Ukraine, 6) Jordan, 7) Lebanon, 8) Egypt, 9) Belarus, 10) Qatar, 11) Serbia, 12) United States, 13) Armenia, 14) Georgia, 15) Bahrain, 16) Rwanda
Arrivals are allowed entry after acquiring special permission, and only if they are Cypriot citizens or entitled to enter.
Passengers must undergo a coronavirus test under 72 hours before their trip and have a certificate they tested negative for Covid-19.
Grey category passengers must remain in self-isolation for 14 days or 10 if they choose to carry out another coronavirus PCR test with a negative result.