The north will stop accepting people from countries deemed ‘high-risk’ due to the spread of coronavirus, the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health agreed on Tuesday.
Members of the Committee, who met at the UNFICYP offices at the Nicosia Airport area, gave a round-up of the measures being taken by each community in view of protecting the Cyprus population from the coronavirus pandemic which has been spreading across Europe in recent days.
According to the Greek Cypriot head of the Committee, Leonidas Phylactou, the Committee took time to discuss the controversial move by the Republic of Cyprus Government to temporarily close four checkpoints in what it called a measure to protect both communities from the virus, which has yet to reach the island.
Phylactou said that the measure, which will be re-evaluated at the end of this week, had caused disappointment among the Turkish Cypriot members of the Committee, which on their part also addressed the measures being taken in the north for prevent the spread of the virus.
Specifically, the north will be barring entry to persons from ‘high-risk’ countries such as China, Iran, Iraq, Italy, and north Korea, while Iranian students studying in the north who have flown home will not be allowed to return to the north.
The Committee heard that on Monday two people who had flown from high-risk countries to the north via Turkey were not allowed entry and were forced to return.
Phylactou gave assurances that he is in constant contact with the Turkish Cypriot head of the Committee regarding possible coronavirus incidents and potential measures that may need to be taken, at which point the Committee will re-convene.
“Turkish Cypriots are equally determined to take the necessary measures to prevent a coronavirus incident on the island and it is in the interest of both sides that the Technical Committee on Health continues to work toward this direction,” Phylactou stressed.