COVID19: UN hoping to clarify situation at crossing points

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The UN is seeking clarity as to why Turkish Cypriot authorities have imposed new restrictions at crossing points which dictate that people need to provide a COVID-19 negative test every 72 hours if they want to cross.

The UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is engaging with authorities in the north to clarify the situation at the Limnitis crossing after Kato Pyrgos Turkish Cypriot residents staged a protest there, said UN spokesperson Aleem Siddique.

Siddique told CNA that “UNFICYP is monitoring the situation as the crossing points, including Limnitis, very closely.”

“We are engaging with the Turkish Cypriot side to clarify the situation at the Limnitis crossing point,” he added.

The Cyprus Republic reopened crossing points – following Covid-19 pandemic lockdown – except the one at Nicosia’s Ledra street, for Cypriot citizens and residents.

Those crossing the divide are required to present a certificate saying that they are Covid-19 negative, up to 72 hours prior to their crossing.

Subsequently, the Turkish Cypriots announced the opening of five checkpoints, including Ledra Street, to Greek Cypriots and permanent residents of the Republic who wish to cross.

Two days ago the north announced new rules for entrance at the checkpoints, airports and ports after reporting five coronavirus cases in a week after having no infections for 75 days since 17 April.

Turkish Cypriots working, living or studying in the Republic need to show a negative coronavirus certificate but they need to retest every 15 days.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has told Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades that uninterrupted passage through the Limnitis-Kato Pyrgos crossing would be restored.