Israel and Cyprus announced an agreement on the 14th to allow citizens who have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus to move freely between the two countries without isolation.
Israel reached a similar agreement with Greece earlier this month. Mediterranean coastal countries hope to restart the tourism industry hit by the coronavirus epidemic.
President Nikos Anastasias of Cyprus met with Israeli President Ruven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on the same day.
Rivlin told media reporters that the two sides reached an agreement in principle.
Anastasas issued a statement after meeting with Netanyahu announcing that Israeli citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 from April 1 will no longer be required to be tested for polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or nucleic acid, or quarantined after entry.” The restoration of unrestricted free movement is essential for Cyprus, which is dependent on tourism.”
Netanyahu said that the agreement “provides the possibility of restarting tourism in the near future”.
Israel has a population of about 9 million, with more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and more than 5,300 deaths.
On the 7th of this month, Israel ended its third nationwide “lockdown” and lifted some epidemic prevention restrictions, including lifting restrictions on the distance of people’s activities, opening open-air nature reserves and national parks, and opening up some commercial places.
AFP reported that as of the 14th, inbound and outbound travel at Israeli airports is still limited to “special circumstances”, such as the return of Israeli citizens stranded abroad and citizens leaving the country based on “humanitarian and personal needs”.
Such entry and exit require prior approval.
On the 14th, the Israeli cabinet decided to raise the daily maximum number of inbound passengers to 2,000, who need to be quarantined in government-designated hotels upon arrival.
Israel is vigorously promoting the vaccination of the coronavirus vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and the German Biotech Company.
So far, about 3.8 million people have been vaccinated with the first of the two doses and 2.4 million people have completed the second dose.
Israel hopes to complete vaccination for people over the age of 16 by the end of March.
Cyprus is also cautiously relaxing epidemic prevention measures.
After Christmas last year, the number of confirmed cases in Cyprus surged, with more than 900 new cases in a single day at the end of last year.
After strict epidemic prevention, the number of new cases in a single day has remained basically above 100 recently.