With less than 1000 total cases and 17 deaths due to COVID19, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has fared considerably better than many other countries when it comes to containing the spread of the novel coronavirus. As countries around the world begin reopening, Cyprus has become the latest to outline plans as no new cases of the virus are recorded.

According to Reuters, the country is gearing up to reopen airports to international visitors on 9 June as restrictions are gradually lifted. During an online Economist conference on tourism, deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios said, “we expect a full containment of the virus by the end of this week which means that on 9 June we will open our airports again for business as usual and that’s very very important.” Cyprus’ early measures proved successful in stopping the spread of the virus, with the country having closed borders in March and halting commercial air traffic.

Cyprus has carried out a risk assessment of countries with similar epidemiological conditions with a view to reopening the airports of Larnaca and Paphos. Countries have been put into two different categories, A (Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania) and B (Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia, Czech Republic) while two phases, A and B have also been announced. Phase A will last from 9 to 19 June will include while Phase B starts from 20 June. 

Girne harbour with boats and houses and reflections Marina of Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus
Girne Harbour in Northern Cyprus © Ludmila Yilmaz / Shutterstock

During Phase A, travellers from countries from both categories must present a laboratory test certificate from an approved lab showing a negative result before being allowed to board their flight, with the test having taken place 72 hours prior to departure. Cypriot citizens and permanent residents of Cyprus may alternatively undergo the laboratory testing upon their arrival in Cyprus. They will be required to stay in isolation at home until results are announced. 

In Phase B, passengers coming from countries included in category A will not be required to bring a laboratory test certificate. For passengers coming from countries included in category B, the same requirement will apply as for all passengers in the first phase.

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