NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Tourism-reliant Cyprus will lift all entry requirements on March 1 for inbound travelers who have a valid vaccination certificate showing they received a booster shot, the country's tourism minister said Wednesday.
Cyprus currently requires individuals to either show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or to self-quarantine upon arrival.
The Mediterranean island nation plans to do away with those requirements for people who have been vaccinated. Certificates for travelers who haven’t received booster shots will be accepted if nine months haven’t passed since they received their last dose.
European Union member Cyprus will accept vaccination certificates from non-EU countries that conform those issued by the 27-member nation bloc.
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said unvaccinated adults still will be allowed into the country as long as they comply with testing and quarantine requirements that depend on their country of departure.
Cyprus plans to introduce on March 1 a simplified COVID-19 risk-assessment system for categorizing countries. Unvaccinated travelers from green category countries will need to undergo a PCR test 72 hours prior to boarding or a rapid test 24 hours before departure.
Unvaccinated travelers from red category countries will need to also undergo a PCR test on arrival to Cyprus at their own expense. Grey category country travelers will need special permission to enter Cyprus.
The government in Nicosia also plans to reduce next week the number of days that close contacts of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus must self-isolate from 14 to 10.
Cyprus has seen daily infections shoot up dramatically over the last month, reaching infection rates as high as 5%. But cases have tapered off in recent days to an infection rate of a little over 2%.
Tourism directly accounts for 13% of Cyprus' economy. The country reported a better-than-expected increase in arriving visitors late last year.
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