The government of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus has announced that the United Kingdom is on its list of high-risk countries for coronavirus. As a result, visitors from Britain entering the TRNC in July will be quarantined.
The measure runs counter to a decision already taken by the Turkish government to end quarantine for travellers from the UK.
The announcement was made on Thursday, 11 June, following a Council of Ministers meeting to determine the country risk categories and their TRNC entry criteria.
The United Kingdom was named in Category C – the highest risk category – alongside countries such as the United States, Iran, Russia, and Brazil, which have all recorded high coronavirus death and infection rates.
‘UK visitors must pay the £510 cost for 14-day quarantine themselves’
Visitors from these countries will only be able to enter the TRNC if they do a PCR test 72 hours before travelling, which must be negative. On arrival to North Cyprus, they will be quarantined for 14 days, which they must pay for themselves. The cost of quarantine is 4,400 TL (£510) per person, which must be paid in advance of travel.
Countries listed in Category B, such as Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Switzerland, are required to take a double PCR. The first test must be taken within 72 hours before travel and the results return as negative. The new arrivals will have to take a second one when they enter the TRNC.
Category B visitors will be able to stay in a place of their choice. However, if their second PCR test is positive, the authorities will immediately transfer them to a hospital if they are showing symptoms, or a quarantine location.
Council of Ministers announcement of 11 June 2020 on category of countries according to Covid-19 risk, and their entry criteria into the TRNC
The lowest risk countries are in Category A. They include Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, and Turkey. They are free to enter the TRNC provided they show negative for a PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel.
The new TRNC coronavirus rules for overseas visitors apply to all, regardless of how they enter the country, whether by air, sea, or road.
Turkey has opted for a more relaxed regime for travellers from Britain. On 11 June, the British Embassy in Ankara confirmed British nationals resident in Turkey could return to the country with immediate effect. They would be subject to a health screen on arrival at a Turkish airport. Those who failed would require further “medical evaluation”, while those who pass this check would be required to self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.
The TRNC government also said in Thursday’s announcement that it would publish a full list of countries and the category they are in today, Friday 12 June. They will also review the situation weekly in July to see whether any changes are needed to the countries and the categories they are listed under.
Main photo, top, of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay announcing the latest Council of Ministers decision, 11 May 2020. Photo © Facebook / TRNC PIO