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Checkpoints to open on Sunday, Covid-19 test for all

 

All checkpoints with the exception of that on Ledra Street will open on Sunday to Cypriot citizens and legal residents of the Republic of Cyprus, the government announced on Friday.

Everyone crossing will be required to show a certificate that they have tested negative for coronavirus no later than 72 hours prior to crossing and there will also be random Covid-19 tests, deputy government spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said.

The announcement follows a meeting earlier in the day between President Nicos Anastasiades and the committee of experts advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak. Also taking part was the Greek Cypriot co-chair of the bicommunal technical committee on health.

Sentonas said the decision may change depending on the epidemiological situation and bearing in mind that flights from Turkey are to be permitted to the Turkish-held north. Moreover Turkey, which the EU ranks as high risk, has been classified as a Group A country by authorities in the Turkish-held north.

“It is also noted that the unanimous position of the team of scientists is that the epidemiological and other data presented orally and not in writing by the Turkish Cypriot members of the bicommunal technical committee on health regarding the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic do not give a clear picture as to the situation in the Turkish-occupied north but create serious doubts as to the way and the ability to deal epidemiologically with the whole situation in areas where the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control,” he said.

Replying to a question, the deputy spokesman said that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci had been informed.

The meeting focused on the epidemiological situation in Cyprus with special emphasis on the start of phase two of the airports tomorrow as well as the situation regarding the checkpoints.

Committee member Petros Karayiannis told Alpha TV that they had briefed the president on the exchange of views of the bicommunal technical committee of health earlier this week.  where once again, the Turkish Cypriot side did not submit a report on the epidemiological situation in the Turkish occupied north. The Greek Cypriot side submitted an updated report., he added.

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