Greece Lifts Tourist Cap, Cyprus Opens Skies to Visiting Israelis Starting April 1

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The Acropolis of Athens in Greece, Monday.
The Acropolis of Athens in Greece, Monday. Credit: Thanassis Stavrakis,AP

Cyprus has recognized Israel's "green passport" for vaccinated citizens, and will open the country to Israeli tourists on April 1, a move that comes after Greece lifted the cap on Israeli tourists, but reinstated COVID test requirement.   

According to the statement released by the Cypriot government, vaccinated Israelis can visit without a negative coronavirus test or needing to enter hotel quarantine. Unvaccinated Israelis will need to present a negative coronavirus test, excluding children under 12 years of age.

"Ready the beaches, hotels and restaurants for Israelis that are waiting to visit Cyprus. Your country's recognition of the green passport will allow the skies to open and will restore tourism very quickly," Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said to Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.

The decision followed Ashkenazi's meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades last month, as well as ongoing efforts by the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus. 

People outside a coffee shop in Faneromeni square in Nicosia, Cyprus, last week.Credit: Petros Karadjias,AP

Greece has canceled its cap on Israeli tourists but has reinstated coronavirus tests for incoming visitors, including vaccinated ones, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

This update followed Monday's announcement that Israel and Greece had struck a tourism agreement allowing 10,000 Israeli tourists to enter the country weekly without having to present a negative PCR coronavirus test. 

Following the update, Israelis will now need to present a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of flying in accordance with EU requirements, the Foreign Ministry said. 

On Monday, Greece's tourism minister informed Israeli Ambassador to Greece Yossi Amrani that the Greek cabinet had approved the entry of Israeli tourists who have been vaccinated and hold a "green passport" to enter the country without a coronavirus test or hotel quarantine. 

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