TRNC bans visitors from more countries, close schools till March 22, announces new measures

North Cyprus authorities on Thursday extended school suspension for another week, ban visitors from more countries and announced the closure of two checkpoints with south Cyprus as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The announcement came after an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers chaired by TRNC president, Mustafa Akinci in Lefkosa on Thursday morning. 

Series of latest measures were announced to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The new extended measures include a decision to temporarily close the Akyar and Yeşilırmak (Strovilia and Limnitis) crossing points until 22 March 2020.

The remaining three crossing points, Metehan, the Ledra Palace and Beyarmudu crossing points will remain open.

The Council of Ministers also extended the list of countries whose citizens are not allowed to enter the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in line with coronavirus figures released by the World Health Organisation.

The expanded list of countries include, Italy, Iran, Iraq, China, South Korea Spain, Greece, France, Germany, US, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, UK, Sweden, Hong Kong, Belgium, Singapour, Austria, Qatar and Bahrain.

Chartered flights into the country has also been suspended until April, 1.
TRNC citizens returning from any one of these countries will require immigration permits prior to entry and will have to remain in self-isolation for a period of 14 days upon arrival.

All sports, cultural and any other activity at schools (including universities) have been canceled until 3 April 2020.

Schools will also remain closed until March 22, said the TRNC deputy Prime Minister and Foreigner Affairs Minister, Özersay.

All theatres, cinemas, festivals and other similar activities have been cancelled until 22 March.

Medical supplies such as masks, surgical gloves, antiseptic gels, disinfectants, and similar items were placed under the “controlled goods category” under the Law on Goods and Services allowing the government to regulate the retail price of these items and to implement sanctions against opportunists.

The government will also continue to introduce new measures if and when the need arises but urged the public to follow hygiene rules.

The measures come into effect at midnight Thursday.

The first case of coronavirus was announced in the country on Tuesday after a 65-year-old German tourist tested positive for the virus. The 65-year-old woman was immediately placed on quarantine in Famagusta.

Three hotels where the tourists were staying in Famagusta were quarantined. The woman’s husband as well as two other people who were with her are in quarantine in hospital while another five people are in isolation at the Salamis hotel.

Three more people suspected of having the virus tested negative, a report said on Wednesday but no other confirmed case has been announced.

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