Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Northern Cyprus extends some COVID-related restrictions to May 15; 2100-0600 curfew and ban on entry for foreigners remain.

This alert affects Northern Cyprus

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 15:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe business and travel disruptions

Authorities in Northern Cyprus have extended several restrictions implemented as part of the nation's effort to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until May 15, including the continuance of a 2100-0600 curfew and a ban on nonresident foreigners entering the country. Residents are required to remain in their homes during curfew hours, with the exception of those in possession of special work-related permits. However, authorities will relax some restrictions as of May 4. Intercity travel will be allowed from this date. Hardware, maintenance, and computer repair stores will be allowed to operate under strict health conditions from May 4. Public utility maintenance services, such as plumbers and electricians, will be able to operate from May 4.

Other existing measures that have been extended include:

  • Closure of all schools, with the cancellation of all school sports and social or cultural activities.
  • Suspension of all gatherings, rallies, festivals, theatrical productions, and sporting events.
  • Administrative leave for public servants, with the exception of emergency responders, civil aviation, finance personnel, and employees providing essential services.
  • Prohibition on foreigners entering Northern Cyprus via any air, land, or maritime point of entry.

Restrictions may be reintroduced or amended depending on disease activity in the country.

Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other European governments in recent days 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national 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.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center