Further to our previous Circulars (17th and 18th March, 9th April, and 12th May 2020), please find a further update on COVID-19 in each country EMCO Group has a presence.
Face masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces, including supermarkets, retail shops, bakeries, pharmacies and churches, with a EUR 300 fine for non-compliance.
Due to Limassol having the highest COVID-19 cases in Cyprus additional measures have been implemented as follows:
1. A maximum number of 50 people are allowed at social gatherings.
2. At catering premises a maximum number of 75 persons indoors and 150 persons outdoors is allowed.
3. Churches are to allow the maximum amount of persons based on square meters or up to 75 people, whichever is lower.
All above measures are valid until further notice.
Travelers arriving to Cyprus airports
Each country has been categorised by the Cyprus government and based on the category the requirements vary. In Cyprus there are three categories https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/country-categories:
Category A: Persons travelling from Category A do not need to provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19 when traveling to Cyprus; they only need to provide certain information and solemn declarations.
Category B : Persons traveling from Category B countries are required to undergo a COVID-19 molecular test at a certified lab 72 hours prior to departure and provide the certificate demonstrating that they have been tested and do not have COVID-19. In addition, to this they will also need to provide certain information and solemn declarations.
Category C : Other countries not featured in Category A or Category B.
Travel from countries which are not featured in the categories A & B, is permitted only for:
o Cypriot citizens permanently residing in the Republic of Cyprus, and their family members (spouses, children and parents);
o Persons legally residing in the Republic of Cyprus;
o Persons allowed to enter the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with the Vienna Convention;
o Persons who are not included in the above but who have obtain prior written permission from the Republic of Cyprus.
Citizens arriving from Category C countries are required to place themselves in self-isolation for 14 days, and must repeat a COVID-19 molecular test 48 hours before the end of their self-isolation period, at their own expense. The result of the test must be sent to email@example.com. Self-isolation will be terminated if the result of the repeated COVID-19 test is negative.
Documents required for ALL categories:
A ‘Cyprus Flight Pass’ needs to be filled in and submitted in advance by all passengers traveling to the Republic of Cyprus. This is available on the website www.cyprusflightpass.gov.cy, which must be accessed and filled in electronically. Use of the platform is obligatory for anyone wishing to fly to the Republic of Cyprus. ONLY in the event of a technical problem or scheduled maintenance of the electronic platform (officially announced on the electronic platform) will passengers be allowed to fill in the required forms, in writing. These can be downloaded from https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/download-forms. In this case, travellers have to carry with them, in paper form, the required documentation.
The flight pass will include the following points:
a) personal information of the passenger
b) declaration whether or not a person has travelled to/from or lived in a country other than those included in Category A and B, in the 14 days prior to travel
c) confirmation that a person has not shown any symptoms related to COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to travel
d) confirmation that a person has not knowingly been in touch with COVID-19 patients in the 14 days prior to travel
e) disclaimer that travel is taking place at a person’s own responsibility, and that the Republic of Cyprus or businesses operating within it, cannot be held liable for infection at any point during the travel process
f) disclaimer that upon return to their country of origin, a person will notify the Health Authorities of Cyprus, should they display COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days after leaving the island.
Ports in the Republic of Cyprus
The authorities have advised:
1. No approval is required for crew changes between vessels (which do not involve the embarkation/ disembarkation of any crew members).
2. For crew changes involving crew members which, in the 14 days before their arrival in Cyprus, were in countries belonging to Category A, or were onboard vessels which did not dock at any port, or were onboard vessels which docked only at ports of countries belonging to category A, no approval is required from the Shipping Deputy Ministry. In all such cases, crew changes should be executed in accordance with all existing measures and procedures applicable to persons arriving from countries belonging to categories A.
3. For crew changes involving crew members which, in the 14 days before their arrival in Cyprus, were in countries belonging to Category B, or were onboard vessels which did not dock at any port, or were onboard vessels which docked only at ports of countries belonging to category A, no approval is required from the Shipping Deputy Ministry BUT crew members will be required to hold a COVID-19 negative result certificate that was carried out 72 hours prior to departure. For crew members who are unable to perform a PCR- based covid-19 test from a certified medical centre in the country of departure within 72 hours of departure with a negative result, a request should be made to the Shipping Deputy Ministry in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraph 4 below, in order to secure approval, so that a PCR-based covid-19 test is conducted upon their arrival in Cyprus.
4. In addition to cases described above, special approval should be obtained from the Shipping Deputy Ministry for crew members and passengers of vessels or pleasure craft who do not meet the provisions set out in categories A and B above. Approval requests should be submitted electronically at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All requests should include the following information:
• Vessel Name and/ or IMO number
• Vessel location in the Republic of Cyprus (name of port/ marina)
• Crew members’ / Passenger’s names (on-signers and off-signers)
• Crew members’ / Passenger’s flight details and original country of departure
• Accommodation arrangements in Cyprus (if applicable)
5. In cases where charter flights are organised for the transfer of crew members and/ or passengers, additional permission is required from the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works for the execution of such flights.
COVID-19 cases have started to rise. On 17th August 2020, Lebanon recorded a daily figure of 456 COVID-19 cases. Consequently, the Lebanese authorities announced on 18th August that a full two-week lockdown and a night time curfew (6pm – 6am) will commence as from Friday morning (21st August and ending on 7th September) given the high surge in coronavirus infections.
The sectors that will be exempted from the lockdown are public institutions, security forces, health and medical facilities, emergency workers, foodstuff and essential factories, wholesale foodstuff markets, banks and financial institutions. Additionally, the lockdown will not affect the clean-up and the aid assistance of the Lebanese Red Cross, the Army and Civil Defence teams in the Beirut blast area.
The Courts remain closed.
Flights and Borders
Despite the lockdown, the airport remains open and no travel restrictions have been implemented. Passengers travelling to Beirut still have to undergo a PCR test at their country of origin and submit the results through the airline to the Lebanese Ministry of Health, along with the form they would have to fill out upon purchasing their ticket. Another PCR test is carried out on all passengers at the airport upon their arrival. Borders with Syria remain generally closed but are opened one or two days per week, such days being declared on a weekly basis. The same measures applicable at the airport are imposed on the borders with Syria (when open).
For the time being, the measures at Lebanese ports remain the same as our previous circular, namely that the ports remain closed to passengers, but cargo is still permitted entry.
As we have been reporting, following the tragic explosion at the port of Beirut on Tuesday 4th August 2020, the majority of the port of Beirut has been destroyed. However, the container terminal (which remarkably remained largely unaffected by the blast) has resumed its operations (and will continue operating despite the lockdown). More vessels are expected to call at the container terminal in Beirut in the upcoming weeks.
On the other hand, containerships have also been diverting to Tripoli and the port of Sidon has welcomed few vessels which were initially destined to Beirut. Both ports will also continue operations throughout the lockdown.
The measures applied at the Lebanese ports for commercial vessels consists of members of the Ministry of Health attending onboard the vessels arriving from countries at risk and prior to their berthing, checking the body temperatures of all crewmembers onboard to verify whether any of them are suffering from any of the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Depending on the findings of the Ministry’s representatives, measures are decided on a case-by-case basis.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has implemented a requirement of producing a PCR negative test 72 hours before reaching Egypt, which started from 15th August 2020. The Ministry stated that this decision applies to foreign persons only (not holders of Egyptian nationality). The requirement for the PRC negative test excludes tourists travelling to the airports of El Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Matrouh. The Cairo International Airport authorities are taking all precautionary measures necessary in line with WHO and the Ministry of Health guidelines, including reducing congestion, especially at counters and passport control, and places of first inspection for the entry of passengers.
The courts are now working as normal.
Ports in Egypt
The position is the same as per our circular dated 9th April 2020.
Since our last update on 12th May 2020, the curfew has been fully lifted and organisations are working at full capacity.
There were 2797 new COVID-19 cases in July, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 3621. The death toll rose by 50 to 74.
Ports in Libya
The position is the same as per our circular dated 9th April and 12th May 2020.