Epidemiological risk assessment of countries concerning COVID-19, dated 21/12/2021, effective as of December 23rd

Following a decision of the Council of Ministers, on 18 February 2021, regarding the Action Plan for the gradual resumption of flights and the re-opening of airports, the Epidemiological Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Health has made a re-evaluation of the epidemiological situation in various countries as regards COVID-19.

The categorization for the countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) as well as Switzerland, in the Green, Orange or Red Categories, is based upon that of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

With regard to third countries (United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belarus, Qatar, Serbia, United States of America, Armenia, Georgia, Bahrein), in addition to Kuwait and Canada as of 1/6/21 and to Oman as of 15/10/2021, as well as those countries included in the updated list of the European Council Recommendation (EU) 2021/89 for the gradual lifting of temporary restrictions for non-essential travel within the EU, these are evaluated epidemiologically by the Ministry of Health and are categorized into the Green, Orange and Red categories.

The following categorization of countries, based on the epidemiological risk assessment, is extremely dynamic and may be modified at any moment as the pandemic evolves and the epidemiological data changes. For this reason, new data will be announced and the list of countries will be updated frequently.

Green Category countries – Low risk countries at current stage

  • Third countries: United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kuwait, Bahrein, Saudi Arabia

It is noted that passengers coming from the Green Category countries are not required to hold a COVID-19 test certificate or self-isolate.

Orange Category countries – Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to the Green Category

  • European Union member states: Greece, Romania
  • Third countries: Australia, Japan, Israel, Canada, Qatar, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Colombia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Rwanda

It is noted that passengers coming from Orange Category countries shall be required to undergo a PCR laboratory test within 72 hours prior to departure and to possess a certificate showing a negative PCR result.

Red Category countries – Increased risk countries compared to the Green and Orange Categories:

  • European Union member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland
  • Small states: Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, San Marino
  • Schengen members: Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway
  • Third countries: Egypt, Argentina, Armenia, Georgia, United States of America, United Kingdom, Jordan, Belarus, Lebanon, South Korea, Oman, Ukraine, Peru, Russia, Serbia, Chile

It is noted that passengers coming from Red Category countries shall be required to: a) undergo a PCR laboratory test within 72 hours prior to departure proving a negative PCR result and b) undergo a laboratory test upon their arrival in the Republic of Cyprus.

The examination cost will be borne by themselves and in addition, such persons should remain in self-isolation until the test result is issued.

Grey Category countries (Special Permission):

Countries that are not mentioned in the aforementioned categories (green, orange and red) are considered to belong in the Grey Category (Special Permission). For the Grey Category countries, entry into the Republic of Cyprus is only allowed for the following categories of passengers:

  1. Cypriot citizens and family members (alien spouses and their underage children),
  2. European citizens and citizens of European Economic Area countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland,
  3. Persons legally residing in the Republic,
  4. Persons entitled to enter the Republic under the Vienna Convention, and
  5. Third country nationals who are allowed to enter the Republic of Cyprus following a special permission from the Republic, as this is defined in the Quarantine Decree (N.9) of 2021, as this is modified each time.

Passengers arriving in the Republic of Cyprus from the Grey Category countries (Special Permission) shall remain in mandatory self-isolation or mandatory quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days or alternatively, in mandatory self-isolation or mandatory quarantine for a period of seven (7) days provided that they undergo another Covid-19 test (at their own expense) on the 7th day and the result comes back negative.

In addition, for all categories (green, orange, red and grey) passengers who meet the requirements for a test in Cyprus instead of the country of departure, are listed at the following link: https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/passengers-eligible-for-a-test

It is noted that the above categorization of countries shall take effect on 23 December 2021.

Conditions applied to vaccinated passengers:

The Conditions applied to vaccinated persons or persons who have recovered from COVID-19, so that they can travel to the Republic, from any country of departure, without having to meet the requirements of the respective category, for example RT-PCR test or obligation for self-isolation/quarantine etc. or issuance of a special permit, for purposes of entry into the Republic are described in the following link: https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/vaccinated-passengers.

Taking into consideration the data obtained regarding the new variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529, which was originally detected in Botswana and signaled an alarm due to the large number of mutations it carries and for the preservation of public health, the Ministry of Health informs that as of 26 November 2021:

  1. i) In addition to the already applicable measures, which remain unaffected, all persons entering the Republic through airport, regardless of the country of departure and whether or not they hold a valid certificate of complete vaccination or a valid certificate of recovery from COVID-19 or negative laboratory test at their departure, from 6 December 2021 (00:01 am) until 10 January 2022 (23:59 pm) they will undergo a PCR diagnostic test for COVID-19 during their arrival at the airports of the Republic. The cost of the PCR diagnostic test for COVID-19 will be borne by the passenger.

ii)The arrival and/or entry into the Republic of any person who during the last 14 days before his/her arrival in the Republic either resided or passed through the territory of the following countries is prohibited:

  • South Africa,
  • Namibia,
  • Lesotho,
  • Kingdom of Eswatini,
  • Zimbabwe,
  • Mozambique,
  • Malawi
  • Botswana

For further information on people who are exempt from the prohibition and the procedure they should follow please visit: https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/uploads/26112021_apagorefsieisodouneametallaxi_EL.pdf.

It is also noted that all passengers, regardless of the country’s category, including those holding a valid certificate of vaccination, are obliged to apply for the CyprusFlightPass within 48 hours before the departure of their flight. Moreover, for the protection of public health and the monitoring of the epidemiological situation, passengers of selected flights (including passengers holding a vaccination certificate) may undergo a random laboratory molecular testing carried out by the Ministry of Health.

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