Despite Italy making its way back to Cyprus’ safest green category under the latest COVID travel risk assessment, just two EU states remain in the category as Poland exits.
Poland’s downgrade from green to orange leaves the island with only two EU members in the safest category, as only Malta and Italy are green.
Health authorities also downgraded three more EU countries, as Luxembourg, Finland and Hungary drop from the medium-risk orange category to the higher-risk red.
The majority of EU countries are now in the red, as 15 countries have dropped to the high-risk category after their epidemiological data took a turn for the worse.
There are now only nine countries in the island’s safest category.
There are 21 countries in the orange category where a negative test is needed before departure to Cyprus; nine are EU members.
The travel changes come into effect on Thursday, 21 October.
The island bases its weekly epidemiological risk report on the equivalent list put out by the European Centre for Disease Control.
Cyprus has recently been upgraded in the ECDC ranking, which most EU members use to form safe travel lists.
Currently, the island is in the ECDC’s orange category classification after exiting the red zone this month.
The island nation made a comeback after it had turned “red” in mid-July.
Cyprus emerged from the fourth wave of coronavirus, where record infection rates reached four digits in July, powered by the more contagious Delta variant.
Health authorities have now contained a surge in cases to the low hundreds from a peak of 1,152 daily infections, mainly thanks to its high vaccination rate, with over 80% of the adult population receiving a COVID-19 jab.
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 or 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) Italy, 2) Malta
- Schengen: Liechtenstein
- Small states: Vatican City
- Third Countries: 1) United Arab Emirates, 2) Jordan, 3) Kuwait, 4) New Zealand, 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) France, 2) Denmark, 3) Greece, 4) Spain, 5) the Netherlands, 6) Poland, 7) Portugal, 8) Sweden, 9) Czech Republic
- Small States: Andorra, Monaco,
- Schengen Area: Iceland, Norway
- Third Countries: Australia, Japan, Qatar, China (including Hong Kong, Macau), Bahrain, Uruguay, Rwanda, Chile
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) Austria, 2) Belgium, 3) Bulgaria, 4) Germany, 5) Estonia, 6) Ireland, 7) Croatia, 8) Latvia, 9) Lithuania, 10) Luxembourg, 11) Hungary, 12) Romania, 13) Slovakia, 14) Slovenia, 15) Finland
- Small states: San Marino
- Schengen Area: Switzerland,
- Third Countries: Egypt, Armenia, Georgia, United States of America, United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, Belarus, Lebanon, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Serbia, Singapore
All the rest. 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.