North Cyprus government suspends flights after recent spike in Covid 19 cases (updated)

The government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has decided to temporary suspend all flights coming to the country effective from midnight today and they will announce new plans for travel in the coming weeks.

Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Özersay who is also the Foreign Affairs minster clarified the decision made by the Council of Minister to the media on Wednesday morning.

He said that the presence of too many people currently being housed in quarantine centers was the reason in making this decision.

The suspension will be effective till Sunday, September, 13.

Explaining that there are around 400-450 people in quarantine centers at the moment, Özersay said that 10-15 contacts of each cases are being detected and placed in quarantine in hotels. 

We need to go deeper. Additional measures will prevent local contamination. Therefore, we are stopping the flights for a while. The decision will take effect from midnight. In this direction, I just contacted the Minister of Transport, Özersay said.

He noted that both asymptomatic cases, contacts and people who came to the country were kept in quarantine hotels”

Özersay further emphasized that the flights should be stopped for a while in order to curb the spread of virus.

The announcement comes after reports earlier in the day say people who arrived the country were stuck at the airport because the quarantine hotels were full and could not be accommodated.

Director of the ‘civil aviation department’ Mustafa Sofi said if the planes arrive empty, outbound flights can be made. He also said that emergency flights, military and ambulance aircraft are exempt from this decision.

Government decision require that people arriving from category B countries to quarantine for seven days, and people from category C countries for 14 days. 

People testing positive to coronavirus are also quarantined as are their contacts. These people stay in hotels monitored by authorities.

The country on Tuesday recorded it's highest daily coronavirus count of 38 cases with 15 of them being local and 19 being contacts of people who already tested positive and are in quarantine. The remainder are people who arrived from abroad.

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