Concerns about the new Omicron variant initially discovered in South Africa and now found in 22 additional countries have prompted Cyprus to add four more EU nations to its red category.
As the country awaits for scientists to understand the real dangers of the new strain, Cyprus decided to revisit restrictions for unvaccinated visitors from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Vatican City.
Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers from these nations will have now to submit a negative COVID-19 test taken no older than 72 hours prior to departure and undergo another COVID-19 test upon arrival.
These visitors must remain in self-isolation until they receive a negative result.
Visitors from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czechia, Finland, Andorra Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway will also have to serve quarantine upon arrival in Cyprus.
Third-party countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States have also been included in the red list.
However, authorities stated that these measures will not apply to people who can provide an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate or an equivalent document as confirmation of full immunization or recovery.
Cyprus has also banned flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Botswana.
The ban includes any person who has set as much as a foot or passed through South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi or Botswana in the last 14 days.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise on the island with 623 new cases reported on Tuesday, the largest number since August.
Health authorities managed to contain an outbreak peaking at 1,152 cases in mid-July. As of today, the country is seeing over 620 cases per day.
So far, Cyprus has recorded over 133,860 infections and 594 deaths since March 2020.