Health authorities from the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) announced on Monday that quarantine restrictions will continue for a further fortnight. The TRNC has also added South Cyprus to the quarantine list due to a surge in coronavirus cases there.
North Cyprus’ Covid-19 restrictions will remain in place until 30 November, when they will be reviewed again by the TRNC’s Contagious Diseases Executive Committee.
The latest announcement means that there is no change for those travelling from Turkey, Britain and other Category B countries.
These travellers must obtain a negative PCR test 0-120 hours before travelling to North Cyprus. New arrivals must then undergo mandatory 7-day quarantine in a government-approved centre, which they must pay for with the exception of TRNC citizens, for whom there are no charges.
The significant rise in Covid-19 infections in South Cyprus – now standing at some 5,000 cases – means they are they are treated like a Category B state.
All those entering the TRNC via the Green Line must present a negative PCR test taken 0-72 hours in advance, and then quarantine for seven days. However, there is a sizeable list of people who are excluded from the restrictions.
People crossing into South for employment reasons, or who are studying there or their parents, or those undergoing medical treatment there, and residents in the border village of Pile residents are all exempt from quarantine.
Staff from diplomatic missions based in Cyprus and EU personnel, as well as those on the Sovereign British Bases Area and the UN Peacekeeping Force are also exempt from compulsory quarantine in the North. Random testing, however, will continue.
Quarantine is also waived for those from Category B countries on a short visit to the TRNC – no longer than three days duration.
They must produce a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travelling and have a return flight booked. They will be tested again on arrival in North Cyprus, and if it is another negative test, will be free to do a short visit.
These people will be given guidance by TRNC Immigration officials about what movements are permitted when they arrive in the country. Major penalties exist for those who overstay or do not adhere to the coronavirus guidelines.
The latest announcement includes some easing of restrictions on arts and culture, and also sports in North Cyprus, although some bans remain in place.
The Turkish Cypriot authorities have said that providing everyone attending wears face masks, socially distanced art exhibitions, cinema screenings and theatre performances will be permitted with immediate effect. However, entertainment venues such as dance clubs must remain closed.
A request for non-contactless sports to take place has also been agreed. The issue was championed by the country’s Martial Arts community and supported by the TRNC Sports Department.
Main image, coronavirus graphic © wildpixel / iStock, overlaid with a map of Cyprus and flags of the two states.
Story updated 18.11.2020 to give greater clarification on entry criteria from South Cyprus and Category B countries