News Local Government will discuss checkpoints opening provided conditions allow

Government will discuss checkpoints opening provided conditions allow

The government will discuss the issue of health measures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading and provided the right conditions are in place in order for Turkish Cypriots employed in businesses in the free areas to return to work, government Spokesperson, Kyriacos Koushos told CNA, noting that it is the Turkish Cypriot side which has prohibited people from using all checkpoints.

Koushos said that the matter has not been discussed due to the conditions right now.  However, it is certain that once it is possible for Turkish Cypriot employees to go to their workplaces in the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus, “yes we will discuss the matter so that we can take specific decisions.”

He pointed out, that “apart from the matter to do with health and the prevention of the coronavirus from spreading, I do not see any other issue,” arising.

The government spokesman also recalled that the government had suspended the operation of four crossing points but had left another five crossing points open and that the Turkish Cypriot side prohibited people from using any crossing points, noting that members of the diplomatic corps and the United Nations are also included.

“When and if the conditions allow the crossing from crossing points relevant decisions will be taken by the Republic of Cyprus,” he said, adding that the Ministry of Health will likely have certain views over the matter on taking preventative measures on the coronavirus spread.

“At this stage however, the situation is such that from what we can understand the matter cannot be discussed since the other side has completely banned crossing from all the crossing points,” he pointed out.

Referring to allowances granted by the government to employees, he said that for Turkish Cypriots who had accounts in the areas under the control of the Republic the money has been deposited in their accounts.

For Turkish Cypriot employees who did not have such accounts, cheques were issued to the beneficiaries and have been sent to beneficiaries through the United Nations, he said, adding that he is not aware at what stage their delivery is.

Asked whether employees who cannot present themselves to work could be fired, Koushos said that they are covered by the Labour Ministry plans and cannot be fired.

Replying to a question as to when he believes things will return to the state of affairs before the coronavirus containment measures when all crossing points were open, he said no one can predict that.

“It is absolutely linked with the coronavirus pandemic developments,” he said, adding that “for the government there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for all the checkpoints not to resume operations, apart from the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

On his part, Cyprus’ Employers and Industrialists Federation General Manager Michalis Antoniou said that some people make their living and some businesses need the work of their Turkish Cypriot employees.

He noted that while all health protocols must strictly be upheld, “every possible effort must be made, without placing anyone’s health in danger, to facilitate these employees’ work.”

(CNA)

Top Stories

Former U.S. President Obama campaigns for Joe Biden

Former U.S. President Barack Obama puts on his face mask after his speech as he campaigns on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee and his...

Ireland will be eurozone’s biggest loser from a no-deal Brexit

Irish central bank Governor Gabriel Makhlouf warned that Ireland will be the eurozone's biggest loser from a no-deal Brexit, which could cause an economic...

Germany: Turkey should stop illegal activities against Cyprus and Greece

If Turkey wishes to have a new customs union with the EU it should cease illegal activities against Cyprus and Greece, Ulrike Demmer Germany’s...

Turkey extends exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters to Oct. 27

Turkey said late on Wednesday it extended the stay of its Oruc Reis survey vessel and two other ships in a disputed area of...

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus

More than 41.03 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,126,935​ have died, according to a Reuters...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...