The Council of Ministers have approved a slight revision of Covid restrictions as recommended by the High Committee for Infectious Diseases, BRTK reports.
There have been a few minor tweaks to opening hours, open markets can operate and the travel ban between Kyrenia and Nicosia has been lifted. Theatres, cinemas and the like remained closed. Hairdressers and barber shops will open on 4 March following PCR testing.
Schooling will continue with online education only.
Meanwhile the night-time curfew between 9pm and 5am remains in place until 8 March.
The Council’s decisions:
As of Monday 1 March, all businesses and activities apart from supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, petrol stations, pharmacies, restaurant delivery/takeaway services, agriculture, livestock and related industrial enterprises, will be closed on Saturdays.
From Monday, 1 March, all businesses and activities, except for pharmacies, petrol stations and bakeries (production only) will be closed on Sundays.
Opening Hours Monday to Friday
Markets will be open between 8 am and 8 pm. (Including Saturdays)
Retail and merchandising services (except supermarkets and workplaces supplying all sectors) will be open between 10 am and 8 pm.
Activities involving resupplying open businesses, including taking orders and arranging shelves will be allowed. Orders, sales and distribution will be carried out between 8 am and 8 pm. Shelf stackers will be allowed to work after 8 pm
Businesses that will remain closed:
Theatres and cinemas, performance centres, concert halls, engagement-wedding halls, birthdays, religious prayer services, casinos, bars, taverns, coffeehouses, cafeterias, hookah cafes and halls, internet cafes, all kinds of sports halls, indoor playgrounds, swimming pools, massage parlours, spas,open buffet restaurants, tattooists, night clubs, clubs, Turkish baths and saunas.
Establishments permitted to remain open:
All businesses and activities that are not specifically mentioned above may open under the conditions stated below.
Restaurants, cafes, buffets, sandwich shops, bagel sellers, etc. services will only be allowed to operate in the form of takeaway services, online sales and deliveries. Seating areas will remain closed in these sectors. Takeaway/delivery services will be provided between 7 am and 9 pm.
Garments for sale at stores may not be tried on.
Betting offices will be able to operate but will have a coupon system at the door. There can be no use of seating areas.
Health, Hygiene and Distancing Requirements
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 appropriate signs at entrances regarding the total number of customers and employees which can be allowed at any given time. Also, businesses that provide services will work on a rotational basis or with reduced staff. Personnel in open sectors will repeat PCR tests every fifteen days. Open sectors will be inspected by District Police Boards. Sectors or businesses which flout rules will be shut down.
Individuals are required to meet their essential or basic needs from businesses closest to their residence.
Institutions that will remain open:
Essential services including health professionals and staff working at the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, police, fire brigade, municipality, civil defence, district security boards, Customs, the Central Prison, BRTK, TAK, TÜK, KIBTEK, Dairy Products Board, press employees and/yellow press cardholders, as well as essential services staff at universities, will be able to work at full capacity.
The personnel deemed essential to work in public offices, departments and institutions affiliated with the ministries listed above will continue their duties as determined by their superiors.
In order not to disrupt all services at airports and seaports, these institutions will operate with minimum personnel.
Travel Between Districts
Since the prevalence of infection is less in Lefke-Güzelyurt-İskele-Gazimağusa districts and to prevent the spread of infection to these districts, it has been deemed appropriate that the passage from Nicosia and Kyrenia districts to the above-mentioned districts are controlled by the District Police Boards.
There is no ban on travel between Nicosia and Kyrenia Districts.
All institutions and workplaces are required to record temperatures at the entrances, to comply with the social distancing rules, use markings to maintain social distancing and to apply hygiene and disinfection conditions both inside the workplace and at entrances and exits. It is the employer’s responsibility to implement these measures.
There will be no face-to-face or in-class education (including private lessons and course activities) at public and private schools, all pre-school, primary and secondary education until March 8, 2021. Schools will continue with online or remote education. In consideration of the prevalence of the epidemic within the community and the curfew in place, it has been decided to suspend education centres for persons with special needs. However, to accommodate the needs of those working in open sectors, day-care centres will be allowed to operate.
Essential Border Crossing
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 the 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.
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.
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 that they obtain permission from the district security boards.
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.
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 24 hours.
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.
Only TRNC citizens and permanent residents who travelled from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Brazil, Denmark and South Africa in the last 14 days are allowed entry into the country, provided that they remain in state-monitored quarantine for 14 days.
Funerals will be held with the participation of first-degree relatives only.
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 3 days.
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.
Hairdressers, Barber Shops and Beauty Parlours
Within the framework of decisions to gradually lift restrictions, staff working at barbershops, hairdressers and beauty parlours will be required to carry out PCR tests until 3 March, 2021. These businesses will be allowed to resume operations as of 4 March, 2021.
Open-air markets and bazaars will be allowed to operate as of Monday, 1 March, within the scope of health protocols and guidelines listed below. All open-air markets will be required to operate within the framework of the following rules. Stall owners or personnel will be required to undergo screening at PCR testing centres to be announced. Stall owners will also have to sign consent forms and will be subject to legal prosecution if they fail to comply with the guidelines set.