NICOSIA, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus' Health Ministry on Saturday updated the categorization of countries according to their coronavirus epidemiological situation, ahead of reopening the island's airports on March 1 to flights from all countries.
Up to now, only a few flights are allowed daily to and from the eastern Mediterranean island's two international airports at Larnaca and Paphos.
A Health Ministry statement said the countries were evaluated under the traffic-light system in line with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control classification -- Green, Orange and Red -- with an added Gray category.
All passengers, no matter which countries they come from, have to obtain a Cyprus Flights Pass within 24 hours before boarding a plane, while random coronavirus tests will be made on selected arriving passengers.
Countries included in the least-risk Green category are Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Passengers from these countries have to take a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test on arrival until March 31, but after that no restrictions will apply for them.
Countries in the Orange category are Denmark, Finland, Norway, China, South Korea and Thailand. Passengers from these countries are required to have a negative PCR test certificate issued within 72 hours before departure.
If they are Cypriot citizens or have a right to stay in Cyprus under the Geneva Conventions or come from a country where no test facilities are provided, they can take the PCR test on arrival at their own expense and remain in self-quarantine until the result is issued.
Countries in the Red category include most European Union (EU) countries. Passengers from there must have a negative coronavirus certificate issued within 72 hours before departure, take a PCR test upon arrival at their own expense and remain in self-quarantine until the test result is issued.
Countries in the Gray category are the United Kingdom, Israel, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Belarus and Rwanda. Passengers arriving from these countries are allowed entry after obtaining special permission.
Passengers from these countries must have a valid negative coronavirus certificate issued within 72 hours before departure and must also stay in self-quarantine for 14 days, or 10 days if they choose to take another test and prove negative for COVID-19.
The Health Ministry said that the categorization of countries can be changed at any time according to evolving conditions.