Cyprus to enhance controls at crossing points against coronavirus

The Republic of Cyprus authorities will enhance controls at crossing points

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The Republic of Cyprus authorities have decided to enhance controls at the crossing points across the dividing line by increasing the number of police officers who work there, and implementing some restrictions, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said after a ministerial meeting at the Foreign Ministry on the coronavirus disease issue, which as he noted, will be discussed, at Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ request, during a meeting of the Ministerial Council which will take place on Thursday.

The Republic of Cyprus authorities have decided to enhance controls at the crossing points across the dividing line by increasing the number of police officers who work there, and implementing some restrictions, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said after a ministerial meeting at the Foreign Ministry on the coronavirus disease issue, which as he noted, will be discussed, at Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ request, during a meeting of the Ministerial Council which will take place on Thursday.

In statements to the media, Ioannou said that some other measures are being examined as regards the controls that will take place, and will be announced during the next days if this is needed.

According to Ioannou, during the meeting that took place with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health and the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry as well as other state officers, they evaluated the current situation both at the international level and in Cyprus.

“In statements to the media, Ioannou said that some other measures are being examined as regards the controls that will take place, and will be announced during the next days if this is needed.”

We evaluated the measures that will be taken in case of a pandemic outbreak because we have to be ready in any case, the Minister said, adding that in such a case the services of other competent ministers as the Ministry of the Interior, the Justice Ministry and the Foreign Ministry will be involved in order to act in coordination.

Ioannou also said that President Anastasiades has asked if he and the rest members of the Council of Ministers are briefed during the meeting of the Cabinet that will take place on Thursday on the coronavirus issue.

The Health Minister said that the situation is fluid as developments on this issue are continuous, adding that “we remain vigilant, there is no complacency, we evaluate the developments and we will take more measures as required.”

Asked if after the first case was detected in Greece, people who travel from Greece to Cyprus will be monitored, he replied negatively, noting that Greece is not among the high-risk countries, which are determined by the WHO.

Ioannou underlined that Cyprus implements very strict protocols for four weeks now and decided to inform the people coming from high-risk countries and suggest their self-restriction for 14 days.

The Health Minister also said that he is in contact with the rest competent Ministers on a daily basis to decide on the further measures that may need to be taken.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Several crossing points operate along the demarcation line, which divides Cyprus into the northern Turkish occupied areas and the southern government-controlled part of the country, to facilitate the movement of people.

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