Cyprus has downgraded popular travel destination the UK into the red while Denmark, Belgium and Jordan are upgraded to the safer COVID-19 green category.
Denmark and Belgium join the expanding number of EU countries turning green, although Spain has moved from orange to red like the UK.
Spain is the first EU country currently in the red category, where a COVID test is needed before and upon arrival.
There are now 20 of the other 26 EU states in the restriction-free green zone, said the Health Ministry.
In updating the safe travel list, health authorities also moved Jordan, Monaco, and Vatican City from red to green following their improved epidemiological data.
Two countries fell out of the green zone into orange – Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
Four more countries went from red to orange — Lebanon, North Macedonia, Taiwan, Qatar.
At the same time, previously unclassified countries, Azerbaijan, and Kosovo were classified as orange while Moldova, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Brunei went red.
Currently, there are no EU countries in the red zone.
Russia, however, Cyprus’ second-largest tourism market, is still stuck in the red.
The changes will come into effect from 8 July.
Under Cyprus’ colour-coded system, there is no mandatory quarantine for tourists entering Cyprus.
There are now 21 countries in the orange zone, including Lebanon and the USA, where a negative PCR test is required.
Cyprus is conducting an aggressive vaccination program, ranking in the bloc’s top five for COVID-19 jabs per population.
However, the island’s epidemiological data has deteriorated over the past week, with daily cases rising above 500.
Cyprus has opened its doors to vaccinated tourists, regardless of their country of origin, to boost arrivals that plunged 84.1% last year.
But the UK – the island’s biggest tourist market – going back into red has made it more difficult for Cyprus’ tourism sector.
Although fully vaccinated, tourists can enter without restrictions.
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, 12) Croatia, 13) Estonia, 14) France, 15) Greece, 16) Lithuania, 17) Luxembourg, 18) Slovenia 19) Denmark 20) Belgium
EEA: 1) Iceland, 2) Norway, 3) Switzerland, 4) Lichtenstein
Third countries: 1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) Singapore 4) Israel 5) Jordan
Small states: 1) Monaco, 2) Vatican City
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) Latvia, 4) Sweden, 5) The Netherlands
Small states: 1) Andorra
Third countries: 1) China (including Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau) 2) USA 3) Saudi Arabia 4) Japan, 5) Serbia, 6) Canada 7) South Korea 8) Lebanon 9) Saudi Arabia 10) North Macedonia 11) Azerbaijan 12) Qatar
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
Small states: 1) San Marino
Third Countries: 1) Rwanda, 2) Russia, 3) United Arab Emirates, 4) Ukraine, 5) Kosovo 6) Moldova 7) Egypt, 8) Belarus, 9) Montenegro 10) Serbia, 11) Thailand, 12) Armenia, 13) Georgia, 14) Bahrain 15) Canada 16) Kuwait, 17Albania 18) UK
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.