The two communities on divided Cyprus have confirmed their agreement on a 3-level system that would allow people to go through checkpoints, but details remain unclear on whether those who are vaccinated can still cross if epidemiological conditions worsen.
According to a UN spokesperson in Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders confirmed on Wednesday an “agreement on synchronizing the two sides’ respective COVID-19 measures concerning crossings and on reopening all crossing points from 4th June 2021, onwards.”
The details of the agreement were hashed out by a bicommunal technical committee on health issues, whose members will continue to assess the epidemiological situation on a bi-weekly basis to determine appropriate conditions based on three levels.
- Level 1 (green) - no restrictions
- Level 2 (orange) - 7-day negative antigen or PCR test
- Level 3 (red) - closed to general public (with exceptions)
As for exceptions in the third category, crossings will be allowed for health reasons with a negative PCR test valid for 72 hours, while a 7-day negative antigen or PCR test is required for work, education, or residence-related purposes, the statement said.
But the agreement did not provide details for vaccinated people in case Level 3 goes into effect, while more information was expected to be made public in due course, the UN said.
Additional media reports said an agreement expected soon between Greece and Turkey could have an impact on the question of vaccinated people at Cypriot checkpoints, as the two NATO allies were negotiating which vaccines could be accepted for travel between the two countries.
All checkpoints are set to open on Friday, June 2, with conditions set at Level 2.
But the technical committee can still impose at any time a stricter level, if that is justified by data linked to a surge of positive cases on one or both sides of the divided island.