NICOSIA – While Greece is only setting travel restrictions, Cyprus has for now banned most arrivals from eight African countries over fears of a new COVID-19 variant, dubbed both Botswana and Omicron, as the island is still struggling with the pandemic.
They are South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi, affecting those who had been there or traveled through in the previous 14 days before Nov. 28.
The ban does not apply to Cypriot, European Union nationals, from Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, Switzerland, or permanent Cyprus residents, but who must show a negative 72 hour PCR test and are tested again upon arrival.
They will also have to quarantine in specially-designated hotels for a 10-day period, the Health Ministry said. So far, there haven’t been any cases of the variants found on the island, said Reuters.