One country, Saudi Arabia, made it to Cyprus’ COVID-19 safest green travel category, but three more countries dropped into the high-risk red zone under the latest risk assessment.
Saudi Arabia was the only new addition to the safest travel category, making it nine countries from which tourists can enter the island without restrictions as Romanian fell from green to orange.
According to the island’s latest update of its safe travel list, just four EU member states are left in the top green category.
The majority of countries are in the red, which requires double testing.
Slovenia, Norway, and Canada are the latest countries to be demoted from orange to red.
Although Kuwait was the only country to leave the red zone and upgraded to orange.
There are 15 countries in the orange category where a negative test is needed before departure to Cyprus.
Cyprus is coming out of the fourth wave of coronavirus, where record infection rates reached four digits in July, powered by the more contagious Delta variant.
Health authorities have contained a cases spike to the low hundreds from a peak of 1152 daily infections in mid-July, mainly thanks to its high vaccination, with 78.6% of the adult population receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
The travel changes come into effect on Thursday, 9 September.
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:
- European Union: 1) Hungary, 2) Poland, 3) Slovakia, 4) Czech Republic
- Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) Jordan, 3) New Zealand, 4) Singapore 5) Saudi Arabia
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.
- European Union: 1) Austria, 2) Greece, 3) Italy, 4) Croatia, 5) Latvia, 6) Luxembourg, 7) Malta, 8) Romania, 9) Finland
- Small States: 1) Andorra, 2) Vatican City
- Third Countries: 1) Qatar, 2) China (including Hong Kong, Macau), 3) Bahrain, 4) Kuwait
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) Belgium, 2) Bulgaria, 3) France, 4) Denmark, 5) Estonia, 6) Ireland, 7) Spain, 8) Lithuania, 9) Germany, 10) Netherlands, 11) Portugal, 12) Sweden 13) Slovenia
- Small States: Monaco, San Marino
- Schengen Area: Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway
- Third Countries: Azerbaijan, Egypt, Albania, Armenia, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, Leviathan, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Canada
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.