North Cyprus: quarantine period extended to 10 days for all new arrivals, including those crossing Green Line

The period of quarantine for all new arrivals will increase from seven to ten days from Tuesday, 15 December, following an announcement by the Health Ministry for the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) earlier today.

The Turkish Cypriot authorities have also suspended the travel corridor with South Cyprus due to the high levels of coronavirus in the South. Data published by Greek Cypriot health officials show 4,245 people have tested positive in the past fortnight, of which 1,452 were recorded in the last three days.

As a result, those travelling across the Green Line for work, including taxi drivers collecting passengers at airports in South Cyprus, will also need to quarantine for ten days on re-entry to the TRNC. The rule will run from 15 December to 25 December 2020 inclusive.

The authorities have granted two exemptions to the new TRNC quarantine rule for the Green Line: students attending schools and colleges in South Cyprus, and those who are receiving medical treatment will not be required to quarantine when they cross back to the TRNC.

There has been no information on whether the Turkish Cypriot authorities will increase the fees for quarantine, which must be pre-paid. They had previously been set at 2,255 TL, or £214, for seven days.

The change to the quarantine term also reflects concerns about the infection rate in the TRNC. The daily figures for new cases in the past week have ranged between 13 and 20, with local incidents creeping up: eight local people tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours from a total of 13 new cases.

The TRNC Health Ministry confirmed that other coronavirus rules announced last week, including the ban on quarantine-free short visits, the closure of entertainment venues, and the need to present a negative PCR test that is no more than three days old on arrival to the TRNC all remain the same.

In its latest announcement, the Health Ministry also emphasised the need for cafes, restaurants and public transport carriers to adhere to social distancing rules. Those failing to do so will be fined in accordance with the laws.

The current regulations will be reviewed again by the TRNC’s Executive Council of Contagious Diseases on 24 December and updated according to the latest situation in North Cyprus.