The Council of Ministers has extended the period of some restrictions and measures already taken due to the Coronavirus outbreak, and have decided some businesses can start work under certain conditions from May 4th.
Starting May 4th, some sectors will be re-opened, the partial curfew and the inter-city travel ban will be lifted, but from Sunday, May 10th, and for each following Sunday a partial curfew will be introduced.
Accordingly, the dates of some restrictions and limits, whose deadlines were to expire as of April 30, have been extended.
The ban on entry to TRNC by sea for non-TRNC citizens has been extended until May 15th. In addition to those who are abroad by referral of the Health Board or for a funeral, and TRNC citizens who go for treatment abroad by their own means will be allowed to travel by sea from May 15th.
The partial curfew will be lifted on May 4th, but the full overnight curfew between 21.00 and 06.00 will last until May 15th.
The obligation to wear a mask will continue.
The restriction on the working hours of markets places will continue.
After 06.00 hrs on May 4th, the intercity restriction will be removed.
After May 4th, a partial curfew will be imposed on Sundays. Only leaving home to go to a supermarket, a butcher or a petrol station will be permitted.
Pharmacies and Banks will return to normal working hours from May 4th.
The closure of places such as schools, creche’s, classrooms, and study centres has been extended until May 15th.
Cinemas, theatres, events where people get together, weddings, and sports events will continue to be banned until May 15th.
The decision that only TRNC citizens their spouses and children, even if they are not citizens, can enter the TRNC by land, sea and air at any port was extended until May 15th.
Mass worship, plus mass gatherings to begin or end fasting and other organised events due to Ramadan will not be allowed.
The Council of Ministers decided that the following business will not open after May 4th and will remain closed until May 15th.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, cafeterias, bakeries, buffets, tourism sector, hotels, accommodation, casinos, betting offices, all other entertainment venues, gyms, fitness centres, public transportation, wedding halls, dance schools, stadiums, massage parlours, marketplaces (including municipalities), hairdressers, barbershops, beauty salons, theatres, cinemas, coffee houses, locals, sports clubs, children’s playgrounds, parks, picnic areas, cultural arts and sites.
Police, Health, Security, Civil Defense, Civil Aviation, Finance, Fire Department, Labour and Transport Ministries will continue as they are now. Until May 15th offices vital in the public sector will begin work using a method of rotation and under certain conditions. In other words, until May 15th, the normal working practice in the public sector will not be changed, but in an order of rotation. Services will be provided on the basis of requirement in the offices that the ministries deem necessary. In this process, the necessary flexibility will be shown for those in the risk group, such as working from home.
Wherever possible, in buildings where people congregate, public services will be provided by an appointment system. The number of people who can be found in the building at the same time will be restricted, hygiene, social distancing, and mask rules will be observed. Ministries will be responsible for their implementation and the Ministry of Health’s circular will be respected.
For the sectors that remain closed until May 15th, following the re-opening of other sectors from May 4th, will not mean these sectors shall automatically be opened on May 15th, this is dependent on the conditions, the necessary assessments will be made when the day comes.
The places that re-open on May 4th may not always remain open, the Council of Ministers can revise their decisions, these decisions can vary according to the circumstances.
Restaurants, bakeries, cafes and kiosks will remain closed until May 15th, but they can consult with the Ministry of Health and have their employees tested to provide take away services from May 11th by delivery or collection.
The places that re-open should work in accordance with the criteria that the Ministry of Economy and Energy will share with the public tomorrow. Hygiene, mask and distancing rules are examples. These places will be strictly supervised, those who do not comply with the rules may be fined or closed immediately.
The Council of Ministers also extended the time to benefit from some tax breaks.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay stated “So far, the public and the government have achieved a common success. In order to continue this, we need to seriously comply with the decisions taken in cautious optimism. We as a government are making decisions under the current circumstances. If the circumstances change tomorrow or two days later, we can revise these decisions. Based on what we experience on May 15th, we will build on it. We’re slowly trying to shape our new lifestyle. Our expectation is that everyone complies with the decisions, their own hygiene, the distancing rule. We call on them to take care of themselves for their loved ones and society.”
Ozersay stressed that it is necessary to continue with the same seriousness as we have so far in order to fully complete the process in a controlled manner, “We call on our citizens to continue this process without being overwhelmed. Together, let’s take this process with minimal damage.”