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Cyprus

Coronavirus: New measures in north will hit enclaved hard

The decision in the north which effectively bans anyone from travelling to or from the Karpasia and Maronite villages, causes problems to Greek Cypriots, especially the enclaved, humanitarian affairs commissioner Photis Photiou said on Sunday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Photiou said the government has already spoken to UN forces on the island about the move.

“We have informed the UN that the new decision creates further problems to the enclaved especially during the days of Christmas because many people would want to visit their relatives in the Karpas peninsula, just as some of those would want to spend the holidays with relatives in the Republic,” Photiou added.

The measure, which comes into force from midnight on Sunday, effectively bans the movement to and from the Karpass and Maronite villages.

“I have spoken to Unficyp and await answers tomorrow” when they speak to authorities in the north, Photiou said.

Despite the epidemiological picture in the Republic there are ways to ensure the safety of all concerned and allow the enclaved to have visitors, he added.

Greek Cypriot co-chair of the bicommunal committee for health Leonidas Fylactou said he had been informed by his Turkish Cypriot counterpart on Friday night about the decision and had told him of the problems it would cause the enclaved on Saturday. “The message was received,” he said but “the decisions, as is well known, are not taken by the technical committee”.

As of midnight on Sunday, no-one is allowed to enter the north for less than 24 hours without undergoing quarantine, meaning anyone wishing to enter the north must quarantine for seven days. They also need a PCR test result completed within the previous 24 hours.

Up until now those entering the north for less than 24 hours needed a PCR test result but did not have to quarantine.

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