They were offered the opportunity to cross the border to work providing they returned to approved quarantine hotels and dormitories.
At the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, workers who went to the south to work were not able to return. Some who could find no accommodation in the south were seen sleeping in their own vehicles.
On Wednesday, around 65 employees who were on their way to work via the Metehan border checkpoint were taken to the quarantine centres by buses waiting for them at the same point in the evening.
One person said that he had not been able to receive any support payment from the government and had decided to return to work because there was no other option. He spoke of his fear of losing his job and also how it felt strange to be leaving his children behind. Another said that he had been working in the south for 20 years. He did not have children but was obliged to leave his sick wife behind at home because he had no alternatives.
Workers who cross to the south everyday have been clear in their demands which are to be able to come and go from their places of work without quarantine and return home providing they take a PCR test every 72 hours, as do British Base Area personnel, Buffer Zone staff, Missing Persons Committee members, Peacekeepers, patients and their attendants.