Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Northern Cyprus continues to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions as of July 7. Significant business and travel disruptions remain.
- Alert Begins: 07 Jul 2020 05:30 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 21 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Business and travel disruptions
Authorities in Northern Cyprus continue to gradually ease restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Ercan International Airport (ECN) resumed limited services as of July 1; ECN is the country's only commercial airport and only operates direct flights with Turkey. Authorities are maintaining and regularly updating two categories of countries from which travelers are allowed to enter Northern Cyprus. Travelers from Category A countries must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours on entry and will not be required to self-isolate; travelers from Category B countries must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours on entry, will be retested by officials at the border, and must self-isolate until the second test result is available. Specific countries comprising the two categories include:
- Category A: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, and Switzerland
- Category B: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Maldives, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, and UAE
Travelers from all other countries will be permitted to enter the country provided they show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours and submit to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Limited crossing points are open at the land border with Cyprus.
Authorities have lifted all domestic movement restrictions and permitted most businesses and facilities to reopen, provided they implement strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Protective face coverings are mandatory in public spaces during business hours.
Restrictions may be reintroduced or amended at any time, depending on disease activity in the country.
Background and Analysis
The measures implemented in Northern Cyprus are similar to actions taken by other European governments in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.
As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, targeted restrictions in response to localized COVID-19 outbreaks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by official health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.