Full details of revised Covid-19 measures announced by TRNC government

On Friday, the government of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus announced new revised Covid-19 measures and restrictions on recommendations of the Higher Committee for Infectious Diseases.    

Below, are the revised decisions announced adopted by the Council of Ministers which will be implemented between Monday, April, 5 and Monday, April, 12, 2021.

-A night-time curfew between 10:00pm and 5:00am will be in place from Monday to Saturday. A full-day curfew (except to meet essential needs) will be in place from Saturday 10:00pm to Monday 5:00am.

-All businesses and activities, except for pharmacies, petrol stations, bakeries (production only), livestock and related enterprises will be closed on Sunday 11.04.2021.

-From Monday – Saturday:
    -Markets will be open between 7:00am and 9:00pm. (Including Saturdays)
    -Retail and merchandising services (except supermarkets and workplaces supplying all sectors) will be open between 10:00am and 9:00pm.

Establishments/activities that remain closed/banned:
Cinemas, engagement-birthday parties, weddings, casinos, bars, tavernas, shisha cafes, internet cafes, all kinds of game halls, indoor children’s playgrounds, massage parlours, spas, open buffet restaurants, night clubs, clubs, Turkish baths and saunas.

Establishments that will be open:

-All businesses and activities that are not stated implicitly may be open under the conditions stated below.

-There will be no trying on of clothing at stores.

-Businesses will be allowed to take orders, restock or rearrange shelves, conduct sales and distribute between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm.

- Open businesses will make arrangements that will limit the total number of customers and employees. The arrangement must be made so that the total number of customers and employees will be one person per 5 m2.

-To maintain social distancing, these enterprises will be required to put up informative signs at entrances regarding the total number of customers and employees which can be allowed at any given time. 

-Regarding PCR tests; all businesses/establishments/institutions except for the ones stated in the decisions below will be subject to random testing by the Health Ministry.

-Open sectors will be inspected by District Police Boards. Sectors or businesses which flout rules will be shut down.

-Businesses will have to sign consent forms and will be subject to legal prosecution if they fail to comply with the guidelines set.

Decisions adopted;
1. A decision has been adopted to lift a travel ban between the Lefke, Güzelyurt, İskele, Gazimağusa districts.

2. Bus services will be allowed to operate between all districts
-Bus services within İskele and Gazimağusa and between the two districts will be allowed to operate.

-No passengers may be seated next to drivers. The seat behind the bus driver must be left empty. Buses will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Windows must remain open, and all passengers are required to wear masks during transit. Air-conditioning cannot be turned on. All buses will be disinfected after every tour. All public transport and taxi drivers will be required to sign consent forms. Failure to comply with the rules stated will result in legal prosecution.

3. Implementing social distancing rules, providing signs and markings to ensure social distancing as well as applying hygiene and disinfection conditions both inside the workplace and at entrances and exits falls under the responsibility of the employer or business owner.

4. It has been decided to resume online education (except for Grade 12 students) at all public or private pre-school, primary and secondary education until further notice. Students attending school will continue to be screened with rapid tests. Rules to be applied at schools have also been determined.

5. It has been deemed appropriate for people residing in the TRNC but receiving medical treatment in South Cyprus, to cross for daily visits without quarantine as long as they document their appointments at crossing points. The patient and their attendant (if necessary) will be required to submit a negative PCR test result carried out within the last 72 hours. Also, patients and companions returning to the TRNC following treatment should repeat their PCR tests on the seventh and fourteenth days of their return and submit the results to the Health Ministry.

6. It has been deemed appropriate for people residing in South Cyprus but receiving treatment in the TRNC, to cross for daily visits without quarantine as long as they present proof of their appointments and a valid PCR test carried out within the last 72 hours.

7. Within the scope of the Green Line Regulation, it has been deemed appropriate for people who do contactless trade to carry out their transactions without quarantine provided they present their official documents. These individuals will be given daily permits that expire at 9 pm. Individuals carrying out trade will be required to undergo PCR testing every seven days.

8. It has been deemed appropriate for ambulances to pass through the Yeşilırmak crossing point without the need for quarantine. All other individuals are subject to quarantine.

9. People residing and working in Pile will be exempt from quarantine or will be allowed to cross daily provided that they submit their negative PCR test results carried out in the last seven days. Employees of sectors that supply basic commodities and services to businesses in Pile will be allowed to cross for daily visits provided they present a valid PCR test carried out in the last 48 hours.

10. Individuals working for the UN, EU, the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) or UN peacekeepers are exempt from quarantine provided that they submit a negative PCR test result carried out within the last seven days.

11. Drivers of diplomatic missions (diplomats excluded) will be required to present a valid PCR test carried out in the last seven days when not accompanying a diplomat. These individuals will be exempt from quarantine for a maximum period of two hours to run errands such as delivering documents, determining routes etc.

12. Funerals will be held with the participation of first-degree relatives only.

13. Persons residing in the TRNC and working in South Cyprus or vice versa will be able to cross daily without quarantine, provided that they submit a valid PCR test carried out within the last 7 days.

14. Barbershops, hairdressers, beauty salons and tattoo studios will continue to operate between 7 am and 8 pm. Employees in these sectors will be required to repeat PCR tests every 14 days and will sign consent forms. Businesses that breach health protocols will be shut down.

15. In light of the country’s quarantine capacity, daily flights to the TRNC have been limited to four per day. Each flight cannot exceed 200 passengers. Ferry services to the TRNC have been limited to two per day with a maximum number of 75 passengers each.

16. It has been deemed appropriate for people residing in Beyarmudu to cross daily without quarantine to carry out livestock and agricultural activities in the UN buffer zone and base area.

17. Restaurants, patisseries, cafes, eateries and tavernas, in addition to takeaway and delivery services, will be allowed to continue serving sit-in customers in outdoor seating areas. However, smoking of shishas is forbidden. These establishments will sign consent forms and all venues which break health protocols will be shut. Establishments may be allowed to serve sit-in customers indoors at 1/3 capacity.

18. Coffeeshops, cafeterias and clubhouses will be allowed to continue operating on the condition they comply with social distancing rules. However, playing table games (cards, backgammon etc) or smoking shisha will not be permitted. These establishments will also be allowed to serve customers indoors without exceeding 1/3 of their seating capacity.

19. Bet offices will continue to operate within the conditions set. These establishments will only allow customers indoors at 1/3 capacity. No food or drinks may be served to customers.

20. Special needs education centres will continue to operate. Staff and employees at these education centres will be required to repeat PCR tests every seven days.

21. Non-contact, individual sports activities may be carried out outdoors.

22. Professional and licensed swimmers or persons with disabilities are permitted to train. However, pools remain closed for classes.

23. Individuals who have travelled from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Brazil, Denmark and Africa in the last 14 days are allowed entry into the country, provided that they remain in state-monitored quarantine for 14 days.

24. Individuals residing in the TRNC but who wish to travel abroad via Larnaca Airport in South Cyprus or those wishing to come to the TRNC via Larnaca Airport will be able to do so via T-permit taxis or touristic minibuses. Drivers operating such services are required to present a valid PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours. These vehicles are required to cross back to the TRNC within three hours of their departure through the same crossing point. T-permit taxis may only transport two passengers at a time while touristic shuttle services may transport a maximum of four passengers at a time. Passengers arriving from the south are required to present a valid PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours of their arrival. These passengers will be transported to the quarantine hotel they will be staying in. Drivers will be required to sign consent forms. Drivers flouting the rules will not be allowed to cross again.

25. International exams will be carried out under the conditions stated below.

-Individuals sitting exams will be required to present a negative PCR test carried out in the last 24 hours.

-Windows and doors at exam centres will remain open at all times.

-All individuals in the exam room will be required to wear protective gear (visors or face masks).

-Sitting arrangements will be done according to social distancing rules.

-Disinfectants and sanitisers will be made available at the entrance of exam rooms.

26. Individuals arriving in the TRNC for IVF treatment will be accommodated at quarantine centres between 10-14 days. Individuals will be transported from quarantine hotels to IVF centres for 3-4 hours. These individuals will be required to carry out PCR tests 24 hours before their appointment. IVF centres will be entirely responsible for individuals transported from their quarantine hotel to the facilities and back. IVF centre directors will sign consent forms which will be subject to approval by the Health Ministry Coordination Council.

27. Gyms and fitness centres will be allowed to continue to operate within the framework of conditions set. Employees and trainers at gyms or fitness centres will be required to carry out PCR tests every seven days. Gym owners will be required to sign consent forms and any establishments which breach health protocols will be shut down.

28. Unless revised according to daily case numbers, teams will be allowed to carry out training indoors on the condition that all players, trainers and team members carry out PCR tests every week. Training sessions will be closed to the public. These activities will be carried out in accordance with consent forms prepared by federations.

29. Mass rallies, meetings or ceremonies cannot be carried out indoors. All rallies, meetings or gatherings to be carried out outdoors must be carried out under social distancing rules. All demonstrators or participants are required to wear face masks.

30.  For home isolation (quarantine) to begin:

- The electronic bracelet/monitoring system will need to be implemented to allow three-day closed-circuit hotel tourism to begin on April 12, 2021. Work has also been launched to prepare a calendar for other tourism sectors.

31. Professional actors or stage performers/artists/musicians are allowed to rehearse on the condition they follow strict hygiene rules. Stage performances will be allowed but theatres or concert halls will operate at 1/3 capacity. Social distancing rules will be applied. All individuals will apply social distancing and wear masks for the duration of the performance. All staff at performance halls will be required to carry out PCR tests in the last 48 hours prior to the performance. Actors, performers and staff will be required to sign consent forms. Theatres or concert halls will be allowed to open as of 06.04.2021.

32. Music or bale instructors will be allowed to resume one-on-one private lessons. Instructors will be required to undergo PCR testing every seven days.

33. Internet cafes will be allowed to open on 08.04.2021 on the condition that all employees undergo PCR testing before that date. The names of all customers will be recorded. Each customer will be allowed to use a computer for a maximum of two hours. All establishments which fail to comply with the following rules will be shut down.

34. All libraries will be allowed to open as of 05.04.2021. Hand sanitisers will be placed at the entrance and exits of all libraries. Librarians will be required to sign consent forms.

35. Apprentice students will be allowed to resume their training at sectors that have opened. Rules which apply to these sectors will also apply for apprentices
                    

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