Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: enclaved families will spend Christmas apart due to north measures

The stricter measures taken by the Turkish Cypriot authorities against the spread of coronavirus have separated enclaved families who will spend Christmas apart, Rizokarpaso community leader, Michalis Mikellis, said on Thursday.

According to Mikellis, the measures have made things very difficult for the enclaved in the Karpas peninsula and their families, since children are unable to visit their parents even for less than 24 hours.

“We are at in the festive season, we wanted to visit our families at the village,” Mikellis told state broadcaster CyBC. “This has caused great sorrow to the children and our parents, too.”

He said that among the problems faced is that three families will be separated for Christmas after some of their members crossed to the south last month after they tested positive for coronavirus.

Last month, when the cases were detected among Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpaso, some people chose to spend the 14-day self-isolation in the government-controlled areas and some in the north.

This has separated families since one spouse remained at the village while the other spouse and children are in the south, he said.

To return back to the north, according to the existing measures, they will have to stay in quarantine for 10 days and pay around €45 per day each.

“It is very difficult to cover this expense. The husbands will spend Christmas without their families,” Mikellis said.

He also said that it is now impossible for people to visit their families in the village since the north temporarily banned entry without quarantine.

Another problem, he said, is difficulty experienced by Greek Cypriot teachers who teach at the Rizokarpaso schools to commute from the government-controlled areas to the village due to the restrictions. As a result, the schools closed, and pupils follow online courses.

“We realise that this situation causes problems we are all trying to get by as less painfully as possible,” he said.

He added that he was in constant contact with the foreign ministry and the presidency commissioner who is dealing with issues concerning the enclaved.

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