NICOSIA – Apparently satisfied it's safe despite no end in sight yet to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cyprus will gradually ease a travel ban on visitors from 56 more countries, most in the European Union.
Also on the safe list, The Jerusalem Post said, are Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the government announced in a statement on the updated protocols.
There is a new ategorization system in accordance with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control standards (ECDC), dividing countries by green, orange, red and grey as to their levels of safety in dealing with COVID-19.
According to this standard, Israel is currently marked as grey, meaning a visit to Cyprus from Israel would require a Cyprus flight pass, a PCR test from up to 72 hours before arrival, a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period and a random (government-paid) coronavirus test, taken upon arrival, the paper said.
The new protocols begun Jan. 15, 2021 as part of the transitional period, and by March 15, all 56 countries in category grey will be moved to either green, orange or red following ECDC evaluations.
Israelis favor Cyprus for holidays as it's a short distance trip for them and Cyprus' government, after tourism fell off the map in the summer, is eager to get people into the country.