Entry to TRNC shut to all foreign nationals

Entry points to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be closed for all nationals, except for TRNC citizens, as of 2 pm this afternoon, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay announced on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers on Wednesday announced a new set of measures as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

All persons entering or arriving in the north, whether from abroad or the south will have to be placed in an obligatory 14-day quarantine in facilities monitored by the state.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay who announced the measures said that all those who crossed over to the south, including Turkish Cypriot residents of the mixed village of Pile and Beyarmudu located within the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) will be subject to a 14 day quarantine at central facilities when they return to the north.

Clarifying the revised set of measures announced on Tuesday night, Özersay also announced that for those who need to cross to the south or travel abroad for health reasons, it will be decided whether or not they can self-isolate at home depending on their medical condition.

He added that some exceptions might be made depending on each case. …/2…

The TRNC foreign minister said that a serious decrease in the number of entries into the country had been observed since the decision to set up centralized quarantine centres.

We had 30 people arriving on one flight, 28 on a flight this morning and three by boat. All have been placed under quarantine, he added.

Other measures announced are the obligatory use of antiseptics in supermarkets, butcher shops and pharmacies, while cashiers and salespersons will have to wear masks and gloves which must be changed every couple of hours.

Municipalities are tasked with making sure these instructions are followed and are authorised to shut down businesses if they do not comply.

Özersay also said that efforts were underway to bring back Turkish Cypriot students studying in the UK and that they were trying to organize two charter flights for March 20 and 21.

He added that should space be left, room will be made available for citizens who travelled to the UK but could not return for one reason or another.

We are trying to arrange it so that the planes will only touchdown in Turkey before flying to Ercan, he added.

Foreign Minister Özersay also quashed rumours on social media that there weren’t enough testing kits adding this was not the case.

He said a purchase order had also been placed for new ventilators and kits.

Regarding economic measures, Özersay said that the government was working on taking measures to minimize the negative impact the virus has and will have on the economy.


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