Cyprus has added Malta as the first EU member state to its Green category after making four changes to its revised safe travel list.
Malta turns green after putting a lid on infections, reporting close to zero new daily cases in the past week.
The Mediterranean island nation has brought the virus under control through an aggressive vaccination program, ranking it first in the bloc for COVID-19 jabs per population.
Malta has administrated 104.46 jabs per 100 inhabitants, while Cyprus in third place has administrated 57.54 jabs per 100.
There are now eight countries in the safer green zone, from which tourists can enter without needing to self-isolate or get tested for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Romania was upgraded from the red category to orange, along with the USA.
Thailand was a green category regular for months, has now fallen into the red after its recent demotion to orange.
The new country risk assessment comes into effect on 27 May.
Cyprus has opened its doors to vaccinated tourists, regardless of their country of origin, to boost arrivals that plunged 84.1% last year.
The 65 countries Cyprus opened up to on 10 May are EU member states, the European Economic Area such as Norway and Iceland, Switzerland, Armenia and other third countries Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, the UAE, the UK, Lebanon, the USA, and Canada.
Vaccinated tourists allowed unconditional entry must have taken a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen, Russia’s SputnikV, and China’s Sinopharm was added to the list of accepted vaccines by Cyprus.
Tourists should be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before their flight.
The UK is the Mediterranean Island’s largest tourist source 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 two countries and Russia.
Under the newly introduced colour-coded system, there is no mandatory quarantine for tourists entering Cyprus.
Under the new COVID assessment scheme, low-risk countries currently classified in the Green category are EU member Malta and third countries Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Israel, and Iceland (EEA).
Passengers arriving from these countries do not require to self-isolate or carry a negative coronavirus test.
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 4) Romania
Schengen Area: 1) Norway
Third countries: 1) China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 2) UK 3) the USA
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 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) Slovakia, 8) Spain, 9) Italy, 10) Greece, 11) Netherlands, 12) Hungary, 13) Poland, 14) Denmark, 15) Slovenia, 16) Czech Republic, 17) Estonia, 18) Latvia, 19) Lithuania, 20) Sweden, 21) Germany
Small states: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino
Schengen Area: 1) Switzerland, 2) Liechtenstein
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) Thailand, 12) Armenia, 13) Georgia, 14) Bahrain
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.