Worsening COVID-19 cases across Europe has led Cyprus to downgrade Greece and another three EU member states to higher-risk categories on its safe travel list.
The Health Ministry has placed Greece in the higher-risk orange from the safest Green category along with Belgium and Luxembourg.
Meanwhile, Portugal has been relegated to the Red zone from orange.
Greece’s epidemiological picture has taken a turn for the worse, as on Saturday, it reported 2,327 COVID infections, the most since late May.
Belgium had only joined the band of Green countries last week.
Portugal joins Spain as the only EU states in the Red.
On the other hand, Sweden and Lithuania have been upgraded from Orange to Green, with this category numbering 19 countries.
The changes will come into effect from 15 July.
Under Cyprus’ colour-coded system, there is no mandatory quarantine for tourists entering Cyprus.
There are now 18 countries in the orange zone, including Lebanon and the USA, where a negative PCR test is required.
While Cyprus is placing more countries in higher-risk categories, the island’s epidemiological data has deteriorated over the past weeks, with daily cases dangerously close to four digits.
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.
Tourists allowed unconditional entry must have had a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen.
Russia’s SputnikV and China’s Sinopharm are also 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) Austria, 2) Bulgaria, 3) France, 4) Germany, 5) Denmark, 6) Estonia 7) Italy, 8) Croatia, 9) Latvia, 10) Lithuania, 11) Malta 12) Hungary, 13) Poland, 14) Romania, 15) Slovakia, 16) Slovenia, 17) Sweden, 18) Czech Republic, 19) Finland
Small states: 1) Monaco, 2) Vatican City
EEA: 1) Iceland, 2) Norway, 3) Switzerland, 4) Lichtenstein
Third countries: 1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) Singapore 4) Israel 5) Jordan
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) Greece 2) Ireland 3) Belgium, 4) Luxembourg, 5) The Netherlands
Small states: 1) Andorra
Third countries: 1) Azerbaijan, 2) Northern Macedonia, 3) United States 4) Japan, 5) Canada 6) Qatar, 7) China (including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), 8) Lebanon, 9) South Korea 10) Saudi Arabia 11) Serbia
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) Portugal
Small states: 1) San Marino
Third Countries: 1) Egypt, 2) Albania, 3) Armenia, 4) Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5) Georgia, 6) United Arab Emirates, 7) United Kingdom, 8) Kuwait, 9) Belarus, 10) Montenegro, 11) Moldova 12) Bahrain, 13) Brunei, 14) Ukraine, 15) Rwanda, 16) Russia, 17) Thailand
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.