Coronavirus: Rules change over PCR tests on arrival

Rules that have allowed Cypriots and permanent residents to opt to do their PCR test on arrival at Larnaca and Paphos airports will change from August 1 to cover only specific groups of the population, the transport ministry said on Monday.

In a written announcement, it reminded the public of a July 2 cabinet decision to this effect. Currently, Cypriots and permanent residents who require a PCR test to enter Cyprus have been able to choose to do it on arrival, sparing them the need to look for testing facilities in their country of departure.

But the criteria are now changing and only three groups of the population will now have this option – those who have had at least the first dose of the two-dose jabs accepted by the Republic of Cyprus, minors aged 12 to 15 and passengers who can prove they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

The ministry said that any of the above passengers coming for a Red category country who choose to do their test here must remain in mandatory self-isolation for 72 hours after their arrival. They must then carry out a new lab test for Covid-19 at their own expense. If the result is negative, then their self-isolation ends, in line with health and transport ministry protocols.

All Cypriot citizens and legal residents who do not satisfy the above criteria must follow the health protocol that applies to the country of their departure under the traffic light system. For example, if they are travelling to Cyprus from a country which has been classified as Orange, Red or Gray using a PCR test, they must present a negative test result of 72 hours prior to their departure.

Passengers who are fully vaccinated with vaccines accepted by the Republic of Cyprus as well as passengers who have a certificate of recovery 14 days after they tested positive with a duration of six months in the form of an EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) do not need a PCR test result nor do they need to self-isolate, the ministry concluded.

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