The government spokesperson in the Republic of Cyprus says there is a basis for agreement between the two communities to re-open crossing points, with reports saying people on the divided island will be able to go through checkpoints as soon as Friday if they have the necessary health certificate.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said on Monday there was a preliminary agreement between the two sides in Cyprus to re-open crossing points between north and south.
Koushos said a preliminary agreement emerged both on principle and substance following a teleconference between Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Ergun Olgun.
Koushos acknowledged re-opening checkpoints was a political decision but he said the matter was examined on the basis of the epidemiological situation on the island
The two men, who met online along with UN special envoy Elizabeth Spehar, had met to discuss the issue but a final decision on details was not expected until Wednesday, according to the spokesman.
Koushos also noted that people could expect to cross checkpoints as they did before the coronavirus pandemic except that they would now need to provide a COVID-19 health certificate.
It was also reported that Koushos acknowledged the re-opening of checkpoints was a political decision, but the spokesman said the overall decision was being taken on the basis of the epidemiological situation on the island.
Additional media said an agreement expected between Greece and Turkey could have an impact on Cyprus and checkpoints, as the two NATO allies were negotiating which vaccines could be accepted for travel between the two countries.
Republic of Cyprus officials in the south recently included Chinese vaccine Sinopharm on the list of approved jabs for travel to the island, while officials in the north allow a different vaccine from China after receiving dozens of thousands of the Sinovac vaccine earlier this spring.
Reports said checkpoints could technically be open as soon as Friday, if negotiators come to an agreement on Wednesday.