Improved COVID-19 data across Europe has allowed Cyprus health authorities to include a band of nine European countries, eight from the bloc, on its expanding safer green travel list.
The newly classified EU states from which travellers can enter the island without any requirements, numbers eleven, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Finland, Slovakia.
They join Malta, Romania, and Poland already in the green zone.
Norway, associated with the Union through its membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), has also joined Cyprus’ green list.
The green category now hosts 19 countries; 11 are in the EU, the most it has had since the new traffic light system was introduced in March.
At the same time, another 10 EU countries have been upgraded to the orange category from the red.
Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden move a step closer to turning green.
Spain and The Netherlands are the only EU countries stuck in the red zone.
The changes will come into effect from June 24.
Under Cyprus’ colour-coded system, there is no mandatory quarantine for tourists entering Cyprus.
But Taiwan, North Macedonia, and Albania will move out of the orange category and become more dangerous red.
There are now 17 countries in the orange zone, including the UK and the USA, where a negative PCR test is required.
Cyprus has brought the virus under control through an aggressive vaccination program, ranking it third in the bloc for COVID-19 jabs per population.
On Monday, it reported 67 cases with a positivity rate of 0.32%.
Cyprus has opened its doors to vaccinated tourists, regardless of their country of origin, to boost arrivals that plunged 84.1% last year.
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 were added to the list of accepted vaccines by Cyprus.
Fully vaccinated Cypriots or legal residents are allowed entry without having to undergo COVID-19 tests or self-isolate.
Under the new COVID assessment scheme, low-risk countries currently classified in the green category are:
EU members: 1) Malta, 2) Poland, 3) Romania 4) Austria, 5) Bulgaria, 6) Czech Republic, 7) Hungary, 8) Germany, 9) Italy, 10) Finland, 11) Slovakia
EEA: 1) Iceland, 2) Norway
Third countries: 1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) Singapore, 4) Saudi Arabia, 5) South Korea, 6) Israel
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) Ireland, 3) Luxembourg, 4) Belgium, 5) Denmark, 6) Estonia, 7) France, 8) Greece, 9) Croatia, 10) Latvia, 11) Lithuania, 12) Slovenia, 13) Sweden
Third countries: 1) China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 2) UK 3) USA 4) Japan
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) Spain, 2) The Netherlands
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 15) Canada 16) Kuwait, 17) Taiwan, 18) Albania, 19) North Macedonia
Arrivals are allowed entry after acquiring special permission, and only if they are Cypriot citizens or entitled to enter, such as people with a work permit.
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.