The epidemiological picture of various countries with regard to the COVID-19 disease has been re-evaluated by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the Medical Services and the Public Health Services. The evaluation was based on the epidemiological indicators of the countries, such as: the effective reproduction number R(t) for SARS-CoV-2, the number of new diagnoses, the number of laboratory tests, the mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants, the estimated prevalence and the impact and classification by the World Health Organization (WHO), as these indicators appear on valid databases.
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.
It should be noted that in categorizing countries, the recommendation of the European Council, dated 30 June, on the gradual and coordinated lifting of travel restrictions to the European Union, has been taken into consideration.
Category A – Low-risk countries at current stage
• European Union Member States: 1) Germany, 2) Estonia, 3) Latvia, 4) Lithuania, 5) Hungary, 6) Slovakia, 7) Slovenia, 8) Finland
• Schengen Area Members: 1) Lichtenstein, 2) Norway
• Third Countries: 1) Georgia, 2) Canada, 3) New Zealand, 4) South Korea, 5) Thailand
Included in this category are countries with an effective reproduction (Rt) number lower than 1 or/and small number of new diagnoses (<1/100,000 inhabitants per day) or/and small or very small COVID-19 mortality (<5-10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and classification of sporadic cases or clusters of cases according to the WHO or/and at least satisfactory laboratory testing (>3000 tests/100,000 inhabitants).
It should be noted that passengers coming from Category A countries are not required to present a laboratory COVID-19 test certificate or go into self-isolation.
Category B - Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A
• European Union Member States: 1) Austria, 2) Belgium, 3) Denmark, 4) Greece, 5) Ireland, 6) Italy, 7) Poland, 8) Portugal, 9) Sweden, 10) Czech Republic
• United Kingdom
• Schengen Area Members: 1) Switzerland, 2) Iceland
• Small States: 1) Monaco, 2) Vatican City, 3) San Marino
• Third Countries: 1) Rwanda, 2) Uruguay, 3) China, 4) Japan
Included in this category are countries with an effective reproduction (Rt) number greater than 1 or/and number of new diagnoses <1/100,000 inhabitants per day or/and increased COVID-19 mortality (>10/100,000 inhabitants) or/and limited laboratory testing (<2000 tests/100,000 inhabitants) or lack of WHO classification.
It should be noted that passengers coming from Category B countries are required to undergo a laboratory test no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure and to possess a Certificate showing negative PCR examination for the virus.
It is also clarified that passengers from Category B countries, falling into the following categories, may undergo the molecular examination upon arrival in the Republic:
a) Cypriot citizens and their family members (their alien spouses, underage children and parents),
b) all those legally residing in the Republic,
c) persons entitled to under the Vienna Convention,
d) persons, irrespective of nationality, whose countries of residence do not provide a laboratory testing service (public or private) to those wishing to travel to the Republic of Cyprus according to a relevant announcement.
It should be noted that the examination cost will be borne by those persons themselves and in addition, such persons should remain in self-isolation at home until the examination result is issued.
Category C – High-risk countries compared to categories A and B
• European Union Member States: 1) Bulgaria, 2) France, 3) Croatia, 4) Luxemburg, 5) Romania, 6) Spain, 7) Malta, 8) Netherlands
• Small States: 1) Andorra
• Third Countries: 1) Algeria, 2) Serbia, 3) Morocco, 4) Montenegro, 5) Australia, 6) Tunisia, 7) Russia, 8) Ukraine, 9) Faroe Islands, 10) Egypt, 11) United Arab Emirates, 12) Israel, 13) Lebanon, 14) Qatar, 15) Bahrein, 16) Saudi Arabia
All countries not included in categories A or B are placed in this category. Some of the countries which are of high risk according to their epidemiological picture, are mentioned above.
In accordance with the Infectious Diseases Decree (No.30) of 2020, entry into the Republic from Category C countries shall be allowed only for specific categories of citizens who have the possibility to choose whether to undergo a diagnostic test for COVID19 upon their arrival in Cyprus or have with them a negative RT-PCR test certificate for COVID-19, undertaken no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure. It must be noted that such persons shall have to remain in a state of self-isolation for 14 days. Relevant sanitary instructions are available at the following link: https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/info.html .
It is also noted that in accordance with the Decree by the Minister of Health N. 37, dated 12 August 2020, citizens arriving from category C countries are obliged to undergo a molecular examination for COVID-19, 48 hours prior to the termination of their 14-day self-isolation, at their own expense. The test results should be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org . It is understood that the self-isolation will come to an end on the 14th day provided that the outcome of the repeat test comes out negative.
It must be stressed that all passengers, regardless of country category, shall be obliged to file an application for the CyprusFlightPass within 24 hours prior to their departure flight. Moreover, in order to ensure public health and the monitoring of the epidemiological picture, a sample molecular laboratory testing of passengers on selected arriving flights will be carried out.
It is noted that the above categorization of countries shall take effect on 28 August 2020.