The ‘health ministry’ in the north announced new measures for entrance from the checkpoints, airport, and ports on Monday, following a rise in coronavirus cases over the past week.
Turkish Cypriots working, studying or living in the Republic and Maronites and Greek Cypriots living in the north need to show a negative coronavirus certificate no more than 72 hours old.
These groups of people will have to retest for the virus every 15 days and tests will be accepted either from the north or the state-controlled areas, the ‘ministry’ said.
Others wishing to enter the north from the Republic will need to state they have not left Cyprus for 14 continuous days and present a negative PCR test for the virus no more than 72 hours old, every time they cross.
Issues have already arisen with Kato Pyrgos residents over the north’s decision.
Two weeks ago, the crossing at Limnitis, used by the area’s residents, opened following representations by the government to the UN and a phone call between the two leaders. It had remained closed on the Turkish Cypriot side despite the agreement between the two leaders to include Kato Pyrgos residents working in Nicosia among the special groups that would be facilitated to cross between the two sides.
According to Kato Pyrgos community leader Nicos Cleanthous, the residents who were among the special groups allowed to cross have had issues with the crossing points since the latest decision was announced by the north.
He said there was a problem already with Astromeritis crossing, where some village residents were denied crossing from the north on their return from Nicosia.
“There are ongoing negotiations going on there, to decide whether they will be allowed to cross back or not,” he told CyBC.
Cleanthous later called on President Nicos Anastasiades to take action on the matter.
Residents later blocked for a short time the road leading to the Turkish military enclave at Kokkina which is used by Turkish military vehicles.
Cleanthous said they chose this spot because Turkish military vehicles are being escorted to Kokkina by Unficyp.
In further measures, the ‘ministry’ added if the individuals have travelled abroad from Larnaca or Paphos airports, then they will be subject to the rules that apply for each country category.
Countries in category A will need to show a negative test no more than 72 hours old to enter, and they will be able to stay in the north without quarantine.
Category A includes Germany, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, South Korea, Ireland, Switzerland, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Hungary, Maldives, Malta, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, New Zealand, and Greece.
If they arrive without a PCR test, they will pay to be given one in the north, and they will remain quarantined at their own expense, until the results of the test are announced.
Countries in category B will have to furnish a negative test no more than 72 hours old on their arrival, and will be given a second test on their arrival in the north, where they will remain quarantined at a hotel until the test results are announced.
Category B includes Andorra, Argentina, Belgium, United Araba Emirates, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Canada, Montenegro, Qatar, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Monaco, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Turkey, Uruguay, Jordan, and Vatican City.
Countries in category C will have to show a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours old and remain in quarantine at their own expense for 14 days.
Category C includes the United States, Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, Iran, Israel, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Mexico, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and other countries not included in categories A or B.
On Sunday, the north announced a fifth new case in recent days, after months of no cases. The total of cases in the north is 113 of which four people have died.