The Government of the Republic of Cyprus announced the gradual lifting of international flight operation measures to and from Larnaca airport. The measures will be lifted gradually in 2 trial periods, from 9 June 2020 to 19 June 2020, and then from 20 June 2020 onwards. Commercial flights from the Paphos airport began operations on Sunday 21 June 2020.
Countries have been classified into 3 categories (A, B and C), based on an evaluation undertaken by the Infectious Diseases Epidemiological Monitoring and Control Unit (IDEM&CU) of the Ministry of Health. Categorisation is determined on countries with similar epidemiological results and monitored according to emerging information from internationally available data. The Category assessments are subject to continuous changes and are based on the evolving and developing evaluations of the pandemic, so as to avert and minimise the exposure, spread and transmission of Covid-19.
Category A countries that are presently deemed low risk countries are:
Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland
As of 20 June 2020, the following countries have also been included in
Category A: Australia, Czechia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, South Korea
Category B countries are countries with a greater risk in comparison to Category A countries: Israel, Poland and Romania.
As of 20 June 2020, the following countries have been included in Category B: Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates
Category C countries are all other countries that are not included in Category A and Category B and are considered of greater risk in comparison to Category A and Category B countries. The only travellers that will be admitted from Category C countries under specified prerequisites are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. This will include their foreign spouses or underage children (under 18 years of age). Legal residents of the Republic of Cyprus as well as passengers are permitted to enter the Republic of Cyprus under the Vienna Convention or persons that have obtained special permission to enter Cyprus.
Passengers who wished to travel to the Republic of Cyprus before 20 June 2020 from Category A and Category B countries needed to perform valid detection testing from a qualified laboratory 72 hours before traveling and to obtain a negative RT - PCR certificate, indicating negative outcome results for the Covid-19. Passengers also had to complete and submit the applicable legal declarations and information documentation prior to visiting Cyprus.
From 20 June 2020 onwards, travellers from Category A do not require evidence of a test but are still obligated to complete and submit the applicable legal declaration and information documentation. Travellers from Category B will still be required to obtain a certified laboratory test before entering Cyprus and to also complete all legal declaration and information documentation.
For this purpose the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has created the CyprusFlightPass, an electronic platform for passengers, which contains the obligatory requirements and conditions that need to be met in advance and approved for inbound travel to Cyprus. Passengers need to complete and lodge their applications electronically, and if approved will receive their travel pass through e-mail before flying to Cyprus. This is a compulsory submission procedure and requires travellers to create a personal profile on the platform. The CyprusFlightPass needs to be shown prior to flight boarding and on arrival at border control in Cyprus. Minors (under 18 years of age) can be added as accompanying travellers.
The platform can also be used as a quick check to determine whether a passenger satisfies the criteria for travel to Cyprus. Since requirements are dynamic and are subject to the rapidly changing nature of the outbreak, it is suggested that a quick check is undertaken before travel.
Passengers that for any valid reason are unable to complete the necessary documents on the electronic platform or passengers who are over 65 years of age and are not proficient with electronic mediums, can print and complete the documents, which are available on CyprusFlightPass, by hand. They will, however, need to carry the required documentation with them for inspection purposes and this may cause delays in their travel. It is also pointed out that any travellers that disclose inaccurate information and declarations will be subject to penalties.
Any personal information provided will stay confidential and if there is any confirmed diagnosis or doubt of a Covid-19 case, it will be used by the Ministry of Health for the benefit of public health, for contact tracing purposes and infection control. It will also be used by healthcare providers to protect them and others when caring for patients.
Authorities also reserve the right to make random screening tests on passengers in both categories and if tested positive, they will enter into quarantine with all Health Ministry measures being undertaken to impede the spread of Covid-19. It is estimated that approximately 300 people a day will be tested.
It is anticipated that a third stage of the easing of the restrictions will begin on 14 July 2020, however, this is under review.
Cypriot citizens that are presently out of the country or intend to travel abroad are urged to register on the Government’s Connect2Cy platform.
The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on a specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information, please contact Elizabeth Michael at Elizabeth.Michael@kyprianou.com