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COVID19: Israel, UK get safe travel upgrades

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Due to their vaccination drive, Israel, and the UK, contributing over 40% of the island’s tourist arrivals, have been upgraded in Cyprus’ revised COVID-19 safe travel list.

Cyprus tweaked its COVID-19 safe travel list, upgrading Israel to the green category from orange and the UK to orange from red.

Revising its safe travel list, Cyprus gave the green light to visitors from Israel to enter without needing a negative COVID test or self-isolating upon arrival.

The new country risk assessment comes into effect on 29 April.

Israel has vaccinated more than 53% of its population, about nine million, with both jabs of a COVID-19 vaccine, while cases fluctuate between 150-300 recently.

Fatalities have dropped to just less than a handful daily.

The UK has moved to orange from red as it, too, has successfully vaccinated just over half of its population with the first jab of a vaccine; 18.8% are fully vaccinated.

Cases in the UK dramatically dropped from almost 70,000 to just over 2,000 in recent days, with daily deaths dropping from a record 1,823 on 20 January to 32 on Saturday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) experts estimate at least 65%-70% of a population need vaccination coverage before herd immunity is reached.

The UK is the Mediterranean Island’s largest tourist market as a third of arrivals (pre-pandemic) are Britons, while Israel is the third-largest market.

Tourism stakeholders are pinning their hopes on vaccinated tourists from these countries after the government agreed that vaccinated Israelis and Britons could enter without restriction regardless of category.

Meanwhile, Thailand once again slips from the green category down to orange. The southeast Asian country is constantly going from one category to another almost weekly.

GREEN

Under the new COVID assessment scheme, low-risk countries currently classified in the Green category are Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea and now Israel.

Passengers arriving from these countries do not require to self-isolate or carry a negative coronavirus test.

ORANGE

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, 2) Finland, 3) Ireland

Third countries: 1) China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 2) UK and 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

RED

This category includes countries of higher risk than orange.

Passengers coming from red category countries are required: a) to prove a negative PCR test carried out under 72 hours before departure, and b) undergo another PCR test upon arrival in Cyprus. The cost of the test is charged to the individual.

European Union: 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) Denmark, 16) Slovakia, 17) Slovenia, 18) Czech Republic, 19) Estonia, 20) Latvia, 21) Lithuania, 22) Sweden, 23) Germany

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

Schengen Area: 1) Switzerland, 2) Liechtenstein, 3) Norway

Third Countries: 1)) Rwanda, 2) Russia, 3) United Arab Emirates, 4) Ukraine, 5) Jordan, 6) Lebanon, 7) Egypt, 8) Belarus, 9) Qatar, 10) Serbia, 11) the United States of America, 12) Armenia, 13) Georgia, 14) Bahrain

GREY

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.