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Border Checkpoints Open But Rules Confused

North Cyprus News - Metehan border crossing
Metehan Border Crossing

North Cyprus has opened five crossing points starting as of today in line with a decision taken on Sunday by the Council of Ministers.

All TRNC citizens and Greek Cypriots will be allowed to cross to the TRNC through the crossing points on the condition they present a negative PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours.

[*It should be noted that some who presented their PCR test written in Greek were refused entry. According to a report by Cyprus Mail, the TRNC border guards required the test results to be in English. Ed.]

Initially, the crossing points were set to open on July 1 but the date was brought forward following an evaluation by the TRNC cabinet.

North Cyprus News - Deputy PM Kudret Ozersay
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister – Kudret Özersay

Announcing the decisions on Sunday night, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay reminded that the easing of restrictions on crossings previously applied to six groups, TRNC citizens working, studying or receiving medical treatment in the South, Maronites or Greek Cypriots living in the TRNC as well as Turkish Cypriots living in the mixed village of Pile.

He added that with the new decision, all TRNC citizens and Greek Cypriots would now be able to cross on the condition they presented a negative PCR test for coronavirus carried out in the last 72 hours before they cross.

Özersay said that currently only five crossing points had been opened.

These include the Lokmacı [still closed on the Greek side], Beyarmudu, Akyar, Bostancı and Metehan crossing points.

The TRNC Deputy Prime Minister said that more crossing points could be opened as conditions permitted.

Özersay explained that the Greek Cypriot Administration introduced new conditions for those wishing to cross to the South.

He said that the Greek Cypriot authorities divided TRNC citizens crossing into two groups.

Some groups only have to present a negative PCR test certificate the first time they cross. These include TRNC citizens working, studying or receiving treatment in the South, TRNC citizens living in Pile as well as Greek Cypriots or Maronites living in the TRNC. All TRNC citizens who do not fall into any one of these groups will be required to present a negative PCR test every time they cross,” Özersay explained.

North Cyprus News - Check-in at Ercan
Ercan Airport – Check-in

He said that the Greek Cypriot administration was applying tougher conditions than the TRNC for those wishing to use the crossing points.

Regarding sea and airports, Özersay said that the earlier Council of Minister’s decision still applied.

He added that the situation will be re-evaluated at the next cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

*Regarding the borders, Cyprus Mail reports: “…..Greek Cypriots can also go to the north with the one-off test results as long as the test is not in the Greek language.

However, crossing back to the ‘government-controlled areas’, the same test would need to be less than 72 hours old under the Greek Cypriot side’s rules, though they do accept Turkish-language tests.

BRT, Cyprus Mail

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