Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Cyprus updates list of countries with which flights are resumed July 6. Significant business and travel disruptions remain.
- Alert Begins: 06 Jul 2020 10:31 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 20 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Cyprus are maintaining their current plan for easing restrictions introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19. Airports were reopened June 9 and authorities continue to update the two categories of countries with which flights are restored. Travelers from Category A countries do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, while travelers from Category B countries continue to need a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure. Travelers from countries that are not included in these categories remain banned from entry; special exemptions could be made by authorities for urgent travel. Maritime passenger transport remains suspended.
As of July 6, authorities have removed Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE from the list of approved countries, and are maintaining bans on travelers from a number of countries with which the European Union recommended member states resume travel from July 1. The updated categories are as follows:
- Category A: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland
- Category B: Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Vatican City, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, and Uruguay
Authorities have permitted most businesses and facilities to reopen, provided they adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Indoor gatherings of up to 75 people are permitted and up to 150 people for outdoor gatherings.
Any restrictions may be extended or otherwise modified with little to no notice, depending on disease activity.
Background and Analysis
The easing of measures in Cyprus is similar to actions undertaken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the beginning of the summer tourist season, and lower infection rates of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to neighborhoods or specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary “self-policing” by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, negating the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.