The daily movement through checkpoints of Turkish Cypriots living in the north but working in the Republic can begin as of June 22, when the safety of the Republic’s move to reopen airports will be made clear, Kudret Ozersay, in charge of foreign affairs in the north, said Thursday.
On June 8, Ozersay said, the Republic of Cyprus began allowing flights into the island without requiring arrivals to spend a period in quarantine.
Within two weeks from that date, on June 22, “the result of this move will become clear,” Ozersay said.
If by June 22, Ozersay said, there is no significant rise in the number of new coronavirus cases in the Republic, “the crossing of our residents who work in the south and who live in Pyla can begin, provided a PCR test is conducted prior to the first crossing.”
Turkish Cypriots living in the north but working in the Republic began crossing through to the south on June 9, but many crossed carrying bedding and cookware as they would not be able to return to the north for a period of at least two weeks without having to be placed in a two-week quarantine. Many are reportedly sleeping in their cars, while others managed to secure accommodation arranged by their employers.
Speaking to Turkish Cypriot media on Thursday morning, Ozersay said these Turkish Cypriots “are not the only ones who were left stranded.” He added that there are families that have been separated for three months, while others have been living in homes of people they did not know.
Overall, Ozersay said, there must be a controlled opening of the island to abroad, “or else the price will be heavy.”
Checkpoints were partially opened on June 8 after a three-month complete suspension of operation for reasons relating to public health in view of the island's coronavirus outbreak. Crossings that allow vehicles through were opened for certain groups, including Turkish Cypriots who work or receive medical treatment in the Republic, Greek Cypriots living in their villages in the north, the enclaved, and those who need to cross for humanitarian reasons but provided permission is granted.