This issue is complicated by the ruling introduced in 2017 by the UK that flights from the north not only have to touch down in Turkey, but passengers are also obliged to leave the plane to undergo security checks again and then re-embark.
It was reported that Turkey said it would permit flights from Ercan to land, despite flight bans, providing passengers remain on the aircraft, as had been the practice. However, the UK has refused to changed its requirements despite the exceptional circumstance which have arisen from the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a report in The Times, 133 Britons are trapped in the north. One man, wants urgently to return in order to attend the funeral of his partner who died of the coronavirus while in a nursing home. Another person, a Turkish Cypriot is desperate to get home as his wife is expecting a baby.
The brother-in-law of one of the visitors trapped in North Cyprus said:
“When we call the High Commission in Cyprus they put us through to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The person I spoke to there didn’t even know there is a border; she told us to drive to Larnaca. It feels like the UK is sticking its head in the sand about the people stuck here.”
The High Commission in Cyprus posted a message on social media saying that it was “aware of the situation of British tourists in the north of the island and [we] continue to seek solutions.”