Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Northern Cyprus extends COVID-related restrictions at least until Apr. 30. Nightly 2100-0600 curfew; ban on entry for foreigners.

This alert affects Northern Cyprus

This alert began 11 Apr 2020 20:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least Apr. 30
  • Impact: Severe business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Northern Cyprus have extended all existing restrictions implemented as part of the nation's effort to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at least until Apr. 30, including the continuance of a nightly 2100-0600 curfew and a ban on foreigners entering the country except for citizens, and the citizens' spouses and children regardless of nationality. Residents are required to remain in their homes during curfew hours, with the exception of those in possession of special work-related permits.

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;
  • Closure of nonessential businesses until Apr. 17; establishments providing basic goods and services such as pharmacies, filling stations, food markets, bakeries, etc. to remain open;
  • Prohibition on foreigners entering Northern Cyprus via any air, land, or maritime point of entry.


Further restrictions are likely.

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.

Advice
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.

Resources
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Northern Cyprus: mfa.gov.ct.tr

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int