NICOSIA – People who can show they were vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to enter Cyprus in March, 2021 without facing tests or quarantines, the country becoming the first in the European Union to take that step.
The vaccines haven't arrived yet and there's worry about how many people will take them, wondering if they're safe because they were rushed into distribution but the government wants to end lockdowns and other prohibitive measures.
The plan was revealed to the Cyprus Mail by the Cyprus Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos who said it would boost interest by airline companies if international air traffic begins to pick up again by then.
Passengers who aren't vaccinated by then will still need to meet Cyprus’ requirements based on their country of origin and how safe where they live is, based on cases and other epidemiological data.
Minister Karousos also noted that Cyprus’ safe travel list will be following the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) guidelines in the following months, including March and later.
SchengenVisaInfo.com warned back in April, when the pandemic was taking grip across the world that when EU countries started to gradually reopen that travelers would have to show a negative COVID-19 test even if vaccinated.
That's for those traveling in the so-called Schengen Area of EU countries which means travelers don't have to have visas or even passports, but can show their country's identification cards.
The article was based on a statement of an EU official who confirmed that those wishing to travel to the EU and Schengen Area Member States once the vaccine was out, would be required to be vaccinated first.
“When the Schengen Borders open up in September, if they do, Schengen Visa applicants may need to submit a Coronavirus test that has resulted negative, taken within the last two weeks prior to the visa application. The traveller may be required to take a new test before travelling to the Schengen area, as to make sure that he/she has not been infected in the meantime,” a source not named told the paper.
The same official had also noted that after the COVID-19 vaccine is confirmed and available for all, that visa applicants may still be required to be vaccinated first.
The EU Commission has approved a fifth contract with the European pharmaceutical company CureVac, for an initial purchase of 225 million doses for all 27 member states and up to another 180 million, or 405 million although the population of the bloc is 447.7 million.