Health

BRS News: Latest changes to Curfew/Lockdown

We are sharing for readers who are seeking the latest facts and information news recently provided by the British Residents’ Society to their members.

MARCH NEWSLETTER

CHANGES TO CURRENT LOCKDOWN/CURFEW

In brief

  • Curfew now between 9pm and 5am
  • Restaurants etc now able to provide ‘take-away’ services Monday – Saturday.
  • Hairdressers and barbers allowed to open from Thursday 4th March.
  • Does not include Beauty salons, massage parlours or spas.
  • Travel between Girne and Lefkosa Districts allowed but other districts access and egress controlled by Police.
  • Businesses remain closed on Sundays, except pharmacies and petrol stations.

For the full details please see the Government Liaison section below.

RECENT STATEMENT MADE BY THE REPUBLIC of CYPRUS ADMINISTRATION REGARDING NON-EU CITIZENS ACCESS OR EGRESS

By now I think most UK residents of the TRNC will be aware of ‘noises’ coming out of the Republic of Cyprus regarding a refusal to allow UK citizens to enter OR leave the South to access the TRNC after 1st April.

Whilst the RoC administration has not issued a definitive statement regarding this matter, members of your Committee have regular contact with the British High Commission, in particular the Consular Services team but also meetings with the British High Commissioner and since ‘Brexit’ actually happened in January 2020 we have been trying to get some response from the RoC administration regarding the travel rights of UK citizens.

We saw last year that the RoC intended to change the Green Line regulations to restrict the movement of UK citizens, as well as other nationalities, from the TRNC.  So unfortunately this does not really come as a total surprise.

We are aware that the President and the Foreign Minister have requested urgent discussions with Stephen Lillie, the British High Commissioner, to discuss the matter.

Once we have any response from the BHC we will advise you.

VACCINATION PROGRAM

The vaccination program continues and is now ‘accepting’ those aged between 55 and 65, and those with Chronic Illnesses.

For those of you who are being treated for chronic conditions we would suggest that you obtain some evidence to show that your condition is currently being treated.

TURKISH AIRLINES REFUSAL TO ACCEPT ‘OLD’ SHORT-TERM RESIDENCY DOCUMENT TO ALLOW RETURN TO TRNC

We recently were made aware that a UK citizen who resides in the TRNC was refused boarding at Manchester Airport on a flight to the TRNC.  Turkish Airlines explained that the person was in possession of a ‘Short-Term’ residency permit which they stated was not acceptable.

In fact this had been previously investigated by the BRS and we were informed that it would be accepted.  The ‘short-term’ residency documents were issued under the ‘old’ paper-based system, whereas the new ‘online’ permits purely states that it is ‘for Residency’.

We have asked the Government to ensure that this anomaly is rectified by informing Turkish Airlines that both types are acceptable.

If anyone has experienced a similar experience with Pegasus please can you let us know.

GOVERNMENT LIAISON

LATEST CHANGES TO CURFEW/LOCKDOWN

FROM MONDAY 1st MARCH UNTIL FRIDAY 5th MARCH

The full curfew has been changed to become a ‘Night Curfew’ between the hours of 9pm and 5am. 

Food Markets will be open between 8am and 8pm

Retail and merchandising services will open between 10am and 8pm.

The supply chain will operate which will include taking orders, shelf arrangements and displays. Orders, sales, and distribution will be allowed between 8am and 6pm. Shelf arrangement and such will be done after 6pm.

ESTABLISHMENTS THAT WILL REMAIN CLOSED:

Theatres and cinemas, performance centres, concert halls, engagement/wedding and birthdays halls, casinos, bars, taverns, coffeehouses, cafeterias, hookah cafes and halls, internet cafes, all kinds of game halls, indoor playgrounds, swimming pools, massage parlours, spas, indoor sports halls, open buffet restaurants, beauty salons, tattooists, open markets, night clubs, clubs, Turkish baths, and saunas.

Hairdressers and barbers will remain closed until THURSDAY 4th MARCH (to allow ALL staff to be PCR tested to ensure they return a negative result) when they will be ‘moved’ to establishments that will be allowed to open. N.B. this does NOT include beauty salons, massage parlours or spas.

ESTABLISHMENTS THAT WILL NOW BE ALLOWED TO OPEN:

All businesses and activities that are not included above may be open under the conditions stated below.

Restaurants, cafes, buffets, sandwich shops, bagel sellers, etc. services will only be provided in the form of takeaways, online sales, and deliveries. Seating areas will not be used in these sectors. Takeaway/delivery services will be provided between 7am and 9pm.

(NB – Under previous regulations provided by the Police takeaways were allowed provided that the customer collecting is able to be at home before the curfew time of 9pm.  After that only deliveries can be made.  Please check with the outlet at the time of ordering which service they are providing.)

There will be no trying on of products in the clothing industry.

Betting offices will be able to operate at the door without using seating areas.

In open businesses, the total number of customers and employees will be 1 person in a maximum of 5 m2.

In order to protect the social distance, these businesses will display information at entrances explaining the m2 areas and how many people can be in the business, including employees at any one time.

In addition, businesses that provide services will work on a staff rotation method or with reduced personnel.

People working in open sectors will repeat PCR tests every fifteen days.

INDIVIDUALS ARE ASKED TO MEET THEIR ESSENTIAL NEEDS FROM BUSINESSES CLOSEST TO THEIR RESIDENCE.

SATURDAY 6th MARCH

Markets, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, petrol stations, pharmacies and open markets will be open on Saturday.

Also restaurants, cafes, buffets, sandwich shops, bagel sellers, etc. services will only be provided in the form of takeaways, online sales, and deliveries. Seating areas will not be used in these sectors. Takeaway/delivery services will be provided between 7am and 9pm.

(NB – Under previous regulations provided by the Police takeaways were allowed provided that the customer collecting is able to be at home before the curfew time of 8pm.  After that only deliveries can be made up until 9pm.  Please check with the outlet at the time of ordering which service they are providing.)

SUNDAY 7th MARCH

All businesses and activities will be closed on Sunday, except pharmacies, bakeries, and petrol stations.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Since the number of infections is less in the Lefke, Güzelyurt, Iskele and Famagusta districts, and in order to prevent the further spread of infection to these districts, it has been deemed appropriate that travel from Lefkosa and Girne districts to the above-mentioned districts will be controlled by the District Police Boards.  Travel between Girne and Lefkosa Districts will be allowed.

Only TRNC citizens and permanent residents who travelled from the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Brazil, Denmark, and South Africa where they had been for the previous 14 days are allowed to enter the country, provided that they remain in central quarantine for 14 days.

Certain Institutions will remain open and these are,

Essential departments of the Ministry of Health and health personnel, the Ministry of Finance, police, fire brigade, municipality, civil defence, district police boards, Customs, Central Prison, BRTK, TAK, TÜK, KIBTEK, Milk Institution, press employees and / or universities with yellow press cards will be able to work at full capacity.

The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation offices are open to the public between Monday and Friday.  (Please note that they are operating it will be with reduced staff.)

The personnel deemed essential to work in the Ministries, departments and institutions affiliated with the ministries will continue their duties as determined by the senior management.

In order not to interrupt all services at the Air and Sea Ports, minimum personnel will be employed.

All institutions and workplaces are obliged to measure temperatures at the entrances, to comply with the social distancing rules, use markings in order to maintain social distancing in accordance with square meters, and to apply hygiene and disinfection conditions both inside the workplace and at the entrances and exits. It is the employer’s responsibility to implement these measures.

Until March 8, 2021, there will be no face-to-face education (including private lessons and course activities) in public and private schools, all pre-school, primary and secondary education, and to switch to online education. Considering the prevalence of the epidemic in the society and the curfew, it was decided to stop the services of private education centres.  However, in sectors that will remain open, creches may be open on demand in order not to interrupt the services.

It has been deemed appropriate for people residing in Northern Cyprus and required to travel to Southern Cyprus for treatment purposes, to cross without daily quarantine as long as they document their appointments at the border gates.

The patient and their attendant (if necessary) will be required to submit a negative PCR test result taken within the last 3 days upon arrival. In addition, patients and companions returning to our country following treatment should repeat their PCR tests again on the seventh and fourteenth days of their entry into the country and submit the results to our Ministry.

Funerals will be held with the participation of only first-degree relatives.

Travel between different districts at any time still requires an application to be made for a Curfew Exemption Permit Application to be submitted.

People can now go to open spaces for exercise, but the TRNC Government urges people to use the closest option to their homes.

For those who are looking for a link to this information, there is not one, but you may note that the clarification came from the Prime Ministry to the BRS.

With effect from the 1 March travel within the same district does not require a Curfew Exemption Permit request to be submitted, however, the TRNC Government urges people to use the closest option available to their homes, wherever possible.

Editor’s note: For those readers wishing to learn more of the British Residents’ Society and registration as a member which can be started on-line please visit their website – https://brstrnc.com :

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