COVID Update – The Council of Ministers approves the amended Action Plan for the gradual resumption of flights and the reopening of airports

As per the Decision of the Council of Ministers:

The amended draft, which was prepared by the Inter-ministerial Committee and approved today by the Council of Ministers, provides, inter alia, for the following:

  1. For the categorization of countries, the Ministry of Health will be based on the weekly report / evaluation of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).  For countries where there is no evaluation by the ECDC, this evaluation will be done by the Ministry of Health.
  1. The replacement of the Classification Categories of the states so that they are identical with the categorization carried out by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The State Classification Categories are amended as follows:
    1. Category A is replaced by Green Category, in which there will be no restrictions, a practice that still applies today.
    2. Category B is replaced by Category Orange, which will require a negative PCR laboratory test within 72 hours prior to departure, a practice that is still valid today.
    3. Category C is replaced by Category Red, which will require double laboratory analysis, i.e. negative PCR laboratory analysis within 72 hours before departure and another PCR laboratory analysis upon arrival in Cyprus. No self-quarantine / quarantine measures apply in this category.
    4. Special Permit Category (Grey) in which passengers must submit a laboratory PCR analysis within 72 hours before departure. In this category self-quarantine / quarantine measures will apply which will be in accordance with the instructions of the Ministry of Health.
  1. The following countries will be classified in the categories GreenOrange and Red:
    1. European Union countries
    2. European Economic Area countries including the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
    3. Countries on the European Council’s list of third countries
    4. Third countries (Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Belarus)
  1. Those countries not included above will be classified in the Grey – special permit category. In this category, the procedure for granting a special permit to enter the Republic for citizens of third countries will be followed (excluded from the grant of a special permit are Cypriot citizens, legal residents in the Republic of Cyprus and European citizens).
  1. The following passengers will have the option to carry out a laboratory test upon arrival in the Republic of Cyprus:
    1.     Cypriot citizens and members of their families (including their foreign spouses and their minor children).
    2.     Legally-residing persons in the Republic.
    3.     Persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention.

In this case, the beneficiaries of laboratory testing upon passenger arrival in the Red Category and the Special Permit Category, will remain, according to the instructions of the Ministry of Health, in a mandatory self-restraint regime unless they provide laboratory analysis with negative PCR within 72 hours before departure.

  1. The Ministry of Health will continue the sampling checks on passengers arriving in Cyprus, guided by the epidemiological criteria of the countries from where flights to the Republic of Cyprus will be carried out.
  1. In the amended Action Plan there is also provision for individuals who will be vaccinated as they will be excluded from conducting laboratory tests.
  1. The amended Action Plan will enter into force on 1 March 2021.
  1. Until the Action Plan enters into force there will be a transitional phase starting on 15 January 2021 in which all the following countries can be classified into one of 4 categories, namely Green, Orange, Red or the Gray – Special License.
    1. European Union countries
    2. European Economic Area countries including the United Kingdom and Switzerland
    3. Countries on the European Council’s list of third countries
    4. Third countries (Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Belarus)
  1. During the transitional phase, the assessment of all countries will be carried out by the Ministry of Health in the manner followed today.
  1. Simultaneously with the amendment of the Action Plan, the Council of Ministers approved the extension for another 6 months of the temporary Incentive Plan to the airlines. This is a Plan that has received positive reviews from airlines and has been described at European Union level as a Best Practice Plan. In this Plan , an amount per passenger from 41% -70%will be paid as an incentive to the airlines that will result from the seating occupancy of the aircraft.

The full announcement in Greek can be found here.

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