COVID19: Traffic begins to flow again across Cyprus divide

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Cyprus crossings to and from the Turkish occupied north picked up on Monday after the two sides agreed to reopen checkpoints that were closed during the COVID-19 lockdown emergency.

According to police, more than 600 people crossed before lunch via two crossing points in Nicosia Ledra Palace and Ayios Dhometios.

Some 480 people crossed from the north to the Republic through Ledra Palace and Ayios Dhometios checkpoints in Nicosia, while another 120 people crossed from the Republic to go north.

Some 280 vehicles crossed from the north and 60 vehicles went in the opposite direction.

Cyprus police said that from June 13 until Sunday, June 21, a total of 122 people had crossed over from the north mainly for work reasons.

The government decided to open all crossings along the ceasefire line on Sunday, apart from Ledra Street in Nicosia, for Cypriot citizens and residents.

According to a cabinet decision taken last week, Greek and Turkish Cypriots and permanent residents wanting to cross the divide will have to present a coronavirus negative test taken within 72 of the crossing.

Turkish Cypriot authorities announced that they have opened five crossing points allowing Greek Cypriots into the north on the condition that they present a negative COVID-19 test on their first entry taken within 72 hours.