The reopening of the Ledra street checkpoint is a political decision that rests with the island’s two leaders, member of the government’s advisory committee Petros Karayiannis said Wednesday, noting that the epidemiological situation has remained positive on both sides of the divide.
Referring to Tuesday’s teleconference of the bicommunal technical committee on health, that featured the participation of experts monitoring the coronavirus pandemic in both the north and south, Karayiannis said the Turkish Cypriot side had presented and responding to questions regarding a 22-page epidemiological study for the coronavirus situation in the north.
Kostrikis noted that the Turkish Cypriot participants of the meeting had stressed the need for the reopening of the Ledra crossing point, which the Republic of Cyprus government has yet to reopen after it was shut down in late February along with several other crossing as a move to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“We had told them that the decision is a political one and no longer depends on the epidemiological team. The epidemiological picture is good on both sides. Therefore if the two leaders move to open the Ledra crossing, they will,” Kostrikis said.
He added that the technical committee’s discussion also touched on the issue involving the flow of migrants from the north to the south, a matter that emerged in the Republic after several migrants who tested positive for the virus were thought to have crossed from the north through unauthorized points.
Kostrikis noted that the Turkish Cypriot participants of the meeting said that migrants and refugees arriving at shores in the north are immediately transferred to the south through authorized green light points, while those who remain in the north are checked for the virus.
Kostrikis highlighted that the Turkish Cypriot authorities are making every effort to check all arriving passengers for the virus, and to re-check arrivals from category C countries after their two-week self-isolation period.
Arrivals flying into the north from Turkey, which the north placed in category B, are required to present proof of a negative coronavirus test and are then re-checked upon arrival, Kostrikis noted.