The Turkish Cypriot side has announced new arrangements over crossings between the two sides, under which those crossing will only be required to carry out a one-off coronavirus test as long as they have not traveled abroad during the past 14 days.
The latest in a series of bewilderingly conflicting announcements were made on Wednesday evening by the committee of experts in the north, which is now tasked with making decisions regarding crossings and arrivals from abroad.
According to the updated measures, to be in effect until July 21, individuals crossing between the two sides will be required to carry out a one-off coronavirus test (PCR) on the condition they have not left the island 14 days. Random checks will be carried out at crossings.
A source from the north said that this measure applies for Greek Cypriots living in Kato Pyrgos, meaning they will now be able to cross just by presenting a test certificate the first time they pass.
This will come as a relief to residents who need to daily cross through Limnitis crossing point to get to their workplaces in Nicosia.
But Kato Pyrgos resident Costas Michaelides told the Cyprus Mail they had not been officially informed of any changes to their situation.
The same statement said that people who cross to the government-controlled areas to work, study, or for treatment still need to present a negative coronavirus test certificate every 15 days.
This will also apply on the condition that they have not left the island for 14 consecutive days.
In both cases, if individuals have traveled abroad, they will be subject to conditions that apply for the category in which the country they went to and from is listed.
Turkish Cypriot residents of Pyla will be able to cross to the north on the condition they present a test certificate the first time they pass.
People wishing to cross to the north, however, need to bear in mind that the government-controlled areas still require a negative coronavirus test not older than three days from people who arrive from the north or those who cross to the north and return to the south.
The government currently only allows crossings for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and people residing permanently in the Republic.
Only people in particular groups – Turkish Cypriots working, studying in the south, and who cross to the south for medical reasons, Maronites and Greek Cypriots living permanently in the north and Kato Pyrgos residents who work in Nicosia – are allowed to cross just by furnishing a test certificate only once.
The committee of experts in the north also announced that people traveling from the north to Turkey for up to a five-day stay, (including the 5th) on their return would take two tests, one upon arrival and one between the fifth and seventh day since their arrival.
All diplomatic, UN, EU, British Bases staff, and members of international organizations will only be required to present a negative test the first time they cross to the north. However, Turkish Cypriots working in the UN buffer zone and local UN or SBA staff will be required to re-test for Covid-19 every 15 days.