With the partial opening of checkpoints on June 8, as agreed by the island’s two leaders on Thursday, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said that in addition to the enclaved, Greek Cypriots who resettled in their villages in the breakaway north will also be allowed to pass through crossing points.
Photiou also clarified that all who cross through checkpoints will be required to present a certificate proving they have tested negative for coronavirus.
The decision to partially open checkpoints was taken on Thursday during a phone conversation shared by President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Lockdown measures that were imposed some two months ago by both the Turkish Cypriot breakaway state to the north and the internationally-recognized Republic of Cyprus to the south, saw, among other things, the suspension of the operation of crossing points allowing access to the territories of both communities.
As of June 8, Turkish Cypriots who work, study or receive medical care in the south will be permitted to cross through points where vehicles can traverse, spokesman for the government of the Republic of Cyprus Kyriakos Koushos said. Vehicles can use most of the nine crossing points along a 120-mile (nearly 200-kilometer) UN-controlled buffer zone.
A small number of Greek and Maronite Cypriots who have lived in the north since 1974 when armed conflict split the east Mediterranean island nation will also be permitted to cross.
In recent weeks, some of the estimated 1,500 Turkish Cypriots who hold jobs in the south staged protests over the closures that they said denied them of months-worth of vital income.
The Republic first shut four of the nine crossings in late February, prior to the discovery of the island's first coronavirus cases on March 9, while the remainder of crossings were then shut by Turkish Cypriot authorities a couple of weeks later.