The Turkish Cypriot side has reviewed its policy on the use of the Limnitis crossing, now requesting a negative coronavirus test certificate not older than 72 hours from Tylliria residents while those using all other crossing will need one from the last 24 hours, it was announced on Tuesday.
The clarification was made by the Greek Cypriot co-chair of the bicommunal technical committee on health Leonidas Phylactou.
The technical committee had a videoconference on Monday after the north announced it would allow people crossing from the government-controlled areas with a negative PCR test certificate not older than 24 hours for those wishing to remain there for less than 24 hours.
The previous arrangement concerned presenting a negative test certificate not older than 72 hours.
The announcement had angered residents of the Tylliria region since it would make it impossible for them to get the test results within 24 hours while they would also have to get tested daily since many of them travel to Nicosia through the Limnitis crossing to get to their workplaces and schools.
Phylactou told the Cyprus News Agency on Tuesday that the committee held an extraordinary meeting where the Greek Cypriot members raised the issue of crossings for the residents of Kato Pyrgos.
“This measure made it difficult for the residents of Kato Pyrgos and the area of Tylliria who essentially only travel through the occupied areas to come to work in Nicosia,” Phylactou said. They focused, he said, on the specific issue that needed an immediate solution, but also raised the practical problems caused by the decision of the Turkish Cypriot side for tests every 24 hours.
He said he was informed on Monday evening by the Turkish Cypriot co-chair of the committee that Kato Pyrgos residents and those who use the Pyrgos / Limnitis crossing, would be required to present a negative coronavirus test not older than 72 hours.
This arrangement was introduced some two weeks ago which prompted the government to dispatch a team of nurses to Kato Pyrgos to test people for coronavirus free of charge so that they can use the Limnitis crossing.
According to the announcement issued on Monday evening in the north, no PCR test certificates will be requested from ambulance drivers using the Limnitis crossing or the medical staff in it.
The decision follows reports that the government had blocked on Monday the transfer of military personnel and supplies from the north through the Limnitis crossing to the Kokkina enclave.