Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kudret Özersay has said that the government does not intend to make any policy regarding the reopening of the border crossing points for the time being. Free movement within the TRNC will be permitted.
Özersay told BRT that with regard to reopening the borders that “no country in the world has such an opportunity” and added that “if workers in the south are constantly coming and going, there will be a great danger [of spreading Covid-19]“.
“We support the reopening of the crossings between the two sides, but not at the expense of the health of the community. When we look today at the difference between the Turkish lira and the euro, who doesn’t want to open up? For the opening of the borders, we support the opening without endangering the health of the community. Both we and the Greek Cypriot side are not yet at the point of opening the borders.”
Referring to the government’s decision on Turkish Cypriots living in Pyla, Özersay said he was not happy about the decision. He noted that given the fact that those living in Pyla can go to the Greek Cypriot side, after warning that the experts decided to quarantine those who return to the north. He said the cabinet had reconsidered the issue yesterday, but the situation remained problematic. He said they had made the decision because they were forced to do so, adding that the decision was made by the entire government and not by a minister or a party.
Regarding the reopening of the schools, Özersay said that there had been a ministerial decision not to start official education before June 30 and that the current school year is over. He added that the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Ministry of Health will take the necessary decisions in relation to the exams for graduates and colleges.
The deputy prime minister added that some restrictions have been lifted since May 18. The traffic ban will remain in place until the evening of June 1, but the traffic ban will be lifted on Sundays. From May 20, barber shops and hairdressers will be open for haircuts and hair care, but will not be able to provide services such as manicures and pedicures.
From May 18, small boats will be allowed to enter the marinas, while individual sports activities and training in sports venues and stadiums will be permitted. Sports activities can also be carried out in picnic areas and green areas, but the picnic areas and children’s parks will remain closed until June 1.
From May 18, visits to the tourist and archeological sites will also be allowed, while all outdoor markets, including the municipal markets, will be opened.
Betting agencies will remain closed until June 1, while the bans on public transport for sports also apply.
He noted that the cabinet had not taken any decision on the stabilization of exchange rates, while deciding that from June 1 the ports and airports will be opened for TRNC citizens who have their usual residence in North Cyprus. He clarified, however, that these individuals should be quarantined for 14 days.