Cyprus safest green travel category is shrinking fast with under ten countries from which tourists can enter the island without restrictions, following the Delta variant taking a grip.
According to the island’s latest update of its safe travel list, just five EU member states are left in the top green category as Germany and Croatia were demoted to orange.
Croatia had just been promoted to green only last week, and there were no new entries on the green list.
Meanwhile, Lichtenstein, North Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Bulgaria were demoted from orange to the high-risk red category due to their worsening epidemiological data.
Overall, only nine countries are left in Cyprus’ green category, with the majority in the red needing double testing.
There are 16 countries in the orange category where a negative test is needed before departure to Cyprus.
Cyprus is also suffering from the fourth wave of coronavirus, with record infection rates reaching four digits earlier in July, powered by the more contagious Delta variant.
The island’s health authorities have contained a fourth wave of cases to the low hundreds from a peak of 1152 daily infections in mid-July.
The travel changes come into effect on Thursday, 26 August.
Under the colour-coded system, there is no mandatory quarantine for tourists entering Cyprus from the EU.
Cyprus also keeps its doors open to fully vaccinated tourists to boost arrivals that plunged 84.1% last year regardless of their country of origin.
Tourists allowed unconditional entry must have 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.
Regardless of category, unvaccinated tourists staying for more than a week must get tested on the seventh day of their vacation.
Under the COVID assessment scheme, low-risk countries currently classified in the green category are:
- Member States of the European Union: 1) Hungary, 2) Poland, 3) Romania, 4) Slovakia, 5) Czech Republic
- Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) Jordan, 3) New Zealand, 4) Singapore
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.
- Member States of the European Union: 1) Austria, 2) Germany, 3) Greece, 4) Italy, 5) Croatia, 6) Latvia, 7) Luxembourg, 8) Slovenia, 9) Finland
- Small States: 1) Vatican City
- Schengen Zone: 1) Norway
- Third Countries: 1) Canada, 2) Qatar, 3) China (including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), 4) Bahrain, 5) Saudi Arabia
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.
- Member States of the European Union: 1) Belgium, 2) Bulgaria, 3) France, 4) Denmark, 5) Estonia, 6) Ireland, 7) Spain, 8) Lithuania, 9) Malta, 10) Netherlands, 11) Portugal, 12) Sweden
- Small states: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) San Marino
- Members of the Schengen Area: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland, 3) Liechtenstein
- Third Countries: Azerbaijan, Egypt, Albania, Armenia, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, Belarus, Lebanon, Montenegro, Moldova, Brunei, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia
Arrivals are allowed entry after acquiring special permission, 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 seven if they choose to carry out another coronavirus PCR test with a negative result on the seventh day.