The European Commission has been notified by Cyprus of the temporary closure of four crossing points at the Green Line, an official said on Tuesday.
It has been suggested by detractors of the move that the closing of the four crossings was a violation of the 2004 EU Green Line Regulation designed to facilitates trade between the two sides in Cyprus.
The Turkish Cypriot side had urged President Nicos Anastasiades to re-evaluate his decision to shut four crossings for seven days – those of Ledra Street, Astromeritis, Lefka and Dherynia ostensibly to stop any potential spread of the coronavirus. The closure has caused a backlash and protests against the government including scuffles along the Ledra Street barricade on Saturday, resulting in one arrest.
According to the EU official however, “under the Green Line Regulation, the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus shall carry out checks on all persons crossing the Green Line with the aim, inter alia, of preventing any threat to public security or public policy”.
“The Commission will continue to monitor the situation carefully to ensure that any temporary closures and the conduct of any health checks are proportionate and compatible with the Green Line Regulation,” the official said.
The Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health will meet later Tuesday to discuss the island’s measures against the spread of the virus.
The meeting is to take place at 2pm, the announcement said, also mentioning the meeting would be the committee’s third since the two leaders instructed its members to work on joint measures at a meeting which they had on February 3.