Full details of the decision taken by the TRNC government to extend curfew until Feb. 22

On Saturday, the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus extended lockdown measures and curfew until February 22.

Under the new decision, businesses, except for essential services, takeaway/delivery and online services will remain closed.

Following an evaluation of the latest epidemiological situation, the Higher Committee for Infectious Diseases predicts a peak in Covid-19 cases in March given that the mutated variant of the virus has been detected in the country. 

In addition, the number of new daily cases still exceeds the number of patients who have recovered and are discharged causing a further strain on the country’s health system. Easing of restrictions will only be possible as and when the number of patients discharged exceed the number of new daily cases.

In light of the current epidemiological situation, it has been deemed essential to extend the current restrictions until 5:00am on Monday, February 22, 2021.

The rules deemed necessary to be followed are as follows:

1. It has been agreed to extend the street curfew, apart from exceptional cases untiluntil 5:00am on Monday, February 22, 2021. To carry out inspections more effectively, permits must include the individual’s residency and work address.

Services that will remain open during this period;  

-Pharmacies, pharmaceutical depots, medical suppliers, petrol stations, bakeries, greengrocers, butchers and supermarkets as well as suppliers, mask and disinfectant producers. Flour producers, bottled water and beverage producers and distributors, dairy producers, gas cylinder producers and distributors, private security firms, internet service providers, establishments providing import and export services, suppliers, institutions dealing with farming and livestock breeding, vets, feed and barley sellers, farmers, vegetable and fruit wholesalers, private clinics, private labs, private hospitals, private media institutions, dormitories of private universities, GSM and communication service operators, citrus pickers and packaging teams.

-Bakeries will only be allowed to open on Sundays for production.

-Professional fishermen will be able to fish.

-In line with recommendations made by the Pharmacists’ Association, all pharmacies located in populated district centres of Lefkoşa, Girne and Gazimağusa will be operating in two groups on a rotational basis between 8 am and 3:30 pm. Pharmacies other than those located in the three city centres will remain open during normal working hours. On-duty pharmacies which will remain open after 3:30 pm will be determined by the Pharmacists’ Association. Pharmaceutical depots will be open between 11 am and 3 pm.

-Petrol stations, greengrocers, butchers/fishmongers and supermarkets will be open between 8 am and 6 pm. All restaurants, cafes and children’s playgrounds located within supermarkets will be closed.

-Suppliers will be able to deliver supplies to markets, butchers and supermarkets between 6 pm and 12 am. Shelf stackers at supermarkets will only be able to work during hours when supermarkets are closed to customers. Their working schedules will be arranged in consultation with supermarket owners.

-Restaurant delivery/takeaway services, as well as stores or services providing online sales, will be allowed to operate between 11 am and 9 pm.

-All businesses, except for bakeries and pharmacies will be closed on Sunday. (February 14 & February 21) Bakeries will only be open for production.

-Cafeterias at operating dormitories at universities will be allowed to operate with minimum personnel but cafes on university campuses will not be allowed to open. Essential services at dorms such as security, housekeeping and administrative offices will continue to operate with minimum personnel.

Open establishments and public offices;  

1. Health Ministry and health professionals, essential personnel at the Finance Ministry, the police and fire department, municipalities, the civil defence organisation, district authorities, customs, the central prison, BRTK, TAK, TÜK, KIBTEK (electricity authority), Dairy Products Board, public universities and sea and airports. Operations at public offices will be carried out at full capacity.

-Personnel at public offices, government departments or ministries listed above will be working according to conditions set by their superiors.

-All air and seaports will continue to operate with minimum personnel so as to allow operations to continue.

2. Banks will operate at normal hours with minimum personnel.

3. The working hours and the number of employees working in open private sectors will be determined by employers. List of employees will be subject to approval by district authorities.

4. Permission granted by District Offices as of February 8, 2021, will continue to be valid. All individuals are required to carry their permission slips along with their IDs at all times.

5. All movement between districts continues to be restricted. Law enforcement officers, health professionals, and civil servants on duty, firefighters, electricity authority workers, civil aviation employees, journalists with yellow press cards who live but work in different districts will be exempt from the travel restrictions. Private sector employees with permits will also be exempt from the travel restrictions.

6. Members of the public are required to meet their essential needs from stores located closest to their home. Those who violate this rule will be subject to fines and legal action for violating the street curfew.

7. Businesses providing essential services are required to record temperatures before accepting customers as well as make necessary arrangements according to social distancing, disinfection and hygiene protocols. Such arrangements are mandatory and fall under the responsibility of the establishment.

8. All face-to-face or in-class education at public/private primary and secondary schools will continue to be suspended until February 28, 2021. This includes all tuition, private teaching institutions, private lessons and courses. Education will be carried out through distance learning and online. Special needs education institutions will also be closed given the rise in case numbers. However, daycare centres will be allowed to operate to allow the smooth operation of sectors which will remain open.

9. Infrastructure work carried out by the State Water Authority (water tunnels, water treatment etc) will continue uninterrupted.

10. Individuals receiving routine health treatment in the south are allowed to cross for daily visits and are exempt from quarantine on the condition they present a negative PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours. These individuals and their caretakers will be required to undergo PCR testing on the 7th and 14th days of their return and inform the health ministry of their test results.

11. Individuals who carry out non-contact commerce within the framework of the Green Line Regulation (GLR) are allowed to continue their operations without any restrictions.

12. Only transit ambulances are exempt from quarantine at the Yeşilırmak crossing point. All other individuals entering the TRNC through the crossing point will be subject to quarantine.

13. Individuals living or working in Pile will be required to apply for permission to cross due to the street curfew.

14. Individuals working in the UN, the EU, the Sovereign Bases Area (SBA), the UN-controlled buffer zone, the Committee for Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) and UN peacekeepers are exempt from quarantine provided they present a negative PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours.

15. Only TRNC citizens and permanent residents who have been in the following countries in the last 14 days (United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark and South Africa) are permitted to enter the country, provided that they stay in central quarantine for 14 days.

16. Only first-degree family members are allowed to attend funerals.

17. Individuals residing in the TRNC but working in South Cyprus will continue to be subject to quarantine when entering the north. A valid PCR test carried out in the last seven days will be required when crossing.

18. Individuals residing in the South but working in the TRNC will continue to be subject to quarantine when entering the north.

19. Students residing in the TRNC but studying in South Cyprus will resume their education online due to the street curfew in place.

20. Individuals residing in Beyarmudu but who carry out farming and livestock breeding in the Sovereign Bases Area (SBA) will be allowed to cross daily without quarantine.

21. District authorities are authorized with granting permission for cases other than the aforementioned.

22. PCR testing and vaccinations will continue as announced by the Health Ministry.

23. Students studying in South Cyprus but who cannot continue their education online or 7th Graders who need to sit their final exams for graduation will be exempt from the quarantine requirement on the condition that they travel back and forth to their schools via specially arranged school buses. These students will need to renew their PCR tests every 7 days. (Parents will not be allowed to cross)

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