COVID19: Turkish Cypriots lockdown unvaccinated

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Turkish Cypriot authorities ban unvaccinated from socialising as the north witnesses its worst resurgence since the outbreak in March 20220, as daily COVID-19 cases reach record levels.

According to the latest decisions of Turkish Cypriot health authorities, the unvaccinated are excluded from entering venues such as bars and restaurants.

COVID-19 cases in recent days have been well above 200, with 1,075 new infections and four deaths in the past four days.

On Monday, authorities reported another 289 cases and one death.

The surge in cases has led to stricter measures enforced by the north’s committee of experts on infectious diseases.

These include banning unvaccinated or those who have not completed their vaccination regimen from indoor venues such as casinos, bars, clubs, indoor fitness areas, stadiums, indoor team sports areas, night clubs, events, concerts, theatres, weddings.

The unvaccinated are also excluded from indoor areas of restaurants, taverns, patisseries, cafes, coffee shops and cinemas.

The measures also stipulate that restaurants, cafes and similar businesses can use only one-third of their indoor areas.

Authorities in the Turkish occupied north of the island have decided to make booster shots obligatory for the general population.

As of 6 December, people who have not had their booster jabs after six months will see their Ada Pass (the equivalent of the Republic’s Safe Pass) revoked.

Measures also reinstate a ban on home visits, while all school students over the age of six will be required to wear a mask while in the classroom and outdoor areas.

Similar measures are expected to be introduced by the Republic after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, regarding crossings, the COVID-19 situation is at Level 3 (dark red), meaning specific measures are in effect.

This means that fully vaccinated people with EMA approved vaccines, or the Sinovac, Sinopharm or Sputnik vaccines, will now need a 7-day negative rapid test or PCR test 14 days after their full vaccination to cross.

A 72-hour negative rapid or PCR test is required for the unvaccinated, except for high school students and people residing in Kato Pyrgos, who will instead need a 7-day negative rapid test or PCR test.

Last week, according to Turkish Cypriots health authorities, the north saw a 39.1% increase in cases compared to the week before.

Turkish Cypriots have so far reported some 26,586 cases and 97 deaths.

Authorities in the Republic have also seen a resurgence of the virus, as cases reached 491 on Monday, the highest since August.

So far, 130,591 cases and 590 deaths have been reported in the Republic.

Divided Cyprus has reported 157,177 COVID-19 cases and 687 deaths.