From Ian George…..
I thought it might be worth sharing our experience of entering the TRNC through Ercan. We have an apartment in Esentepe and visit three times per year for the last twelve years so we are pretty experienced in the TRNC ways.
So my wife and I downloaded the EU jab certificate and PCR test we had in Dublin. Going through Dublin airport couldn’t have been simpler, just show your passport, ticket and PCR test and away you go.
On arrival at Istanbul they allowed us to go straight to our departure gate rather than going out and back in again, like they do sometimes.
Boarded and arrived ten minutes early but then it all went wrong. After queuing for twenty minutes we were told we had to get a bracelet. Ok no problem so we go to the desk and waited ten minutes only to be told you must have a PCR test. So we have the test, get the paperwork and return to the desk and queue for another 15 minutes. We were told we had to pay 750TL for the bracelet and test and download an app on our phones. So we download the app only to be told they will send us a code to our Turkish phone, which is in our apartment! We found out later that you can use your own mobile to do this.
Surprise, surprise there was a man sitting at the end of the desk selling Turkish SIM cards!! So I bought one, and after another twenty minutes of trying to download the app and queuing back up again, we eventually got back to the desk to pay.
Now, as a regular visitor to Northern Cyprus I have used my debit card hundreds of times over the years. I put my card in the reader put my three numbers in, but it would not go through. My wife got her card out but hers wouldn’t work either. I tried ten times to put my code in but was told you need to put in four numbers! I tried explaining to the girl that UK cards only have three numbers, but she said they cannot complete the payment. So I said no problem I will pay you in cash, but was told sorry only card payments.
So there we were two hours later in the sticky heat in Ercan airport scratching our heads as to what we do next. Luckily our taxi driver came to our rescue and paid for our bracelet on his card and we reimbursed him. We were told to stay indoors for five days, I asked about getting water and food, but all I got was a shrug of the shoulders.
Three hours and ten minutes it took us to get through the airport, whereas our neighbors came through Larnaca, straight to Metehan crossing, had a quick test which took ten minutes in total and no bracelet!
What is wrong with this government? They allow hundreds to come from the south with just a quick test at the border. Why do you have to have another test and a bracelet at Ercan?
They have succeeded in convincing me to give my money to British Airways rather than Turkish Airlines in the future. With all that’s going on in the world they should be welcoming tourists not making it so difficult that they will not come back.
All the best
Editors Note of team experiences
Of course, rules are changing constantly with more requirements for people to abide by like having an ADApass or QR code and it seems individuals need to do their homework and perhaps following this page click here rather than a myriad of other sources where so much confusion is being created due to the fast changing decisions by TRNC authorities leaving published news out of date .
Chris Elliott having been hospitalised for an operation and missing his second vaccination date of 16th August went to Girne State Hospital today 7th September and received with relief his second AstraZeneca injection and then came home and applied online for an ADApass and was successful after some issues completing the online document.
Margaret Sheard who is suffering from cancer and receiving chemotherapy and having been previously advised that it is unwise for cancer patients to be vaccinated whilst undergoing treatment is waiting for a letter from her consultant which she understands she is required to be submitted to the Ministry of Health to request exclusion permission so that she will receive free PCR tests when needed.