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All businesses other than restaurants reopening
The Council of Ministers announced the latest easing of restrictions. While the night-time curfew from 9pm to 5am will remain in place from March 1-8 all businesses other than those in the restaurant and catering sector will be allowed to open. Restaurants or cafes will only offer delivery or takeaway services.
- RES-BIR: Put an end to the unfair competition – Turkish Cypriot Restaurant Owners’ Association (RES-BIR) wants the government to stop supermarkets from selling cooked meals, arguing that it creates unfair competition.
Here are the new decisions
Prime Minister Ersan Saner, following a four-hour-long Council of Ministers’ meeting, announced the latest easing of Covid-19 measures and restrictions. All businesses and activities apart from supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, greengrocers, petrol stations, pharmacies, restaurant delivery/takeaway services, agriculture, livestock and related industrial enterprises, will be closed on Saturdays. All businesses and activities, except for pharmacies, petrol stations and bakeries (for production purposes only), will be closed on Sundays.
N/A due to lockdown
N/A due to lockdown
Ertuğruloğlu: GC side’s policies aimed at crippling TC economyYenidüzen, Kıbrıs
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu on Saturday accused the Greek Cypriot side of continuing to pursue policies aimed at crippling the Turkish Cypriot economy and the development of the north. Speaking during a programme on HaberKıbrıs Web TV, Ertuğruloğlu said that the Greek Cypriot side continued to use its international recognition against Turkish Cypriots.
Referring to the decision to prohibit non-EU citizens from crossing to the north, the Turkish Cypriot foreign minister said the international community continued to support the Greek Cypriots despite its abuse of power. He said he had raised the issue with the British High Commissioner on Friday and would be meeting him in person next week.
Ertuğruloğlu also noted that he was taken aback by criticism made against him by the leader of the People’s Party (HP) Kudret Özersay last week, saying he does not like to “advertise” his work. Özersay had criticized Ertuğruloğlu and called on him to do more in terms of preventing such restrictions.
On the solution of the Cyprus Problem, Ertuğruloğlu said he was a staunch supporter of a two-state solution. “It is not possible to reach an agreement based on equality as long as the Greek Cypriots see the Turkish Cypriots as a minority,” Ertuğruloğlu stressed, adding that the two sides have not been able to agree on the definition of the Cyprus problem.
He said while the Greek Cypriot side argues the solution to the problem could be achieved by ending the “Turkish occupation of the island,” the Turkish Cypriot side wants to end the Greek Cypriot occupation of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC).
Touching on the upcoming five-plus-one meeting on Cyprus, Ertuğruloğlu repeated that the sole purpose of the meeting was to determine whether or not there was any ground to start a new process, not to resume talks from where they left off in Crans Montana in 2017. “It is not possible to achieve a different result by doing the same thing,” Ertuğruloğlu said, adding the federal talks are over.
>> GC side continues to pursue policies aimed at crippling TC economy, using its international recognition against TCs.
>> Not possible to reach agreement based on equality as long as GCs see TCs as a minority.
>> Two sides have different definitions of a solution, one side aims to end the Turkish occupation, the other the GC occupation of the RoC.
>> Sole purpose of 5+1 is to explore whether ground exsts for new talks, not to resume the previous process since the federal talks are over.
North eases more Covid-19 restrictionsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis
A further easing of Covid-19 restrictions which have been in place since the end of December was announced by the cabinet on Saturday. Although numbers dropped significantly due to the lockdown, the north has not seen a drop to single digits, raising questions on the effectiveness of the measures in place.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner announced at a press conference on Saturday night that more businesses will be allowed to operate as of Monday, March 1 in line with the latest recommendations made by the Higher Committee for Infectious Diseases.
Barbershops, hairdressers, beauticians and open-air markets are the latest sectors where restrictions are being lifted. All barbershops, hairdressers and beauticians will be allowed to open on Thursday, March 4 after sector employees and staff undergo screening for Covid-19.
Open-air markets will also be allowed to resume activities but under strict guidelines and rules. However, a 9pm-5am night-time curfew will continue to remain in place until Monday, March 8.
A full-day curfew will also be observed on Sunday, March 7 during which only pharmacies, petrol stations and bakeries (production only) will be allowed to open. Restaurants and cafes will not be allowed to serve sitting customers.
Gyms, indoor sporting activities, internet cafes, gambling shops, tattoo parlours, internet or hookah cafes continue to remain closed. Mass gatherings such as weddings, engagement or birthday parties are also still not allowed.
Rules for people crossing across the divide for work and health purposes were revised. Those crossing for work or health treatment will now have to present a valid PCR test carried out in the last 72 hours while diplomats, UN peacekeepers or those working for the UN or EU in the buffer zone are allowed to cross with a negative PCR test done within the last seven days. The rule works both ways, for those crossing south or crossing north.
Residents of the mixed village of Pile (Pyla) are still exempt from quarantine provided they present a valid PCR test carried out in the last seven days. Supermarket suppliers who transport goods to the village will however have to present a valid PCR test carried out in the last 24 hours.
Only ambulances and patients using the Yeşilırmak (Limnitis)-Kato Pyrgos crossing point are exempt from quarantine. No changes have been introduced for those who carry out farming activities in the Beyarmudu (Pergamos) area.