The following Q & A attempts to answers some of the man questions which are being asked across various groups on Facebook and are asked to me on a daily basis. It should be noted that the official guidance, is not robust and there is plenty of scope for interpretation. The answers here take account of reports from travellers about their actual experiences, however we only include these reports if we have seen several people reporting the same experience.
Q – I have a flight booked into Larnaca, will I be able to cross the border into the TRNC?
A – Yes, at the moment all the borders between the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and the TRNC are closed by authority of the Republic of Cyprus. It is still possible however to cross the border at Pile/Beyamondu as this border post is not manned by Greek Immigration Officials.
Q – I am flying to Larnaca from the UK do I need to have a PCR test to enter Cyprus?
A – Yes, in order to enter the Republic of Cyprus the requirements are to present a negative PCR test which is <72 hours old, in addition you must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass application electronically, https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/ within 24 hours prior to their flight departure. If you want to cross to the TRNC you will need to remain on the Greek side until your PCR test becomes >72 hours old before crossing into the TRNC as the times for the PCR tests are different.
Q – Can I get a taxi to take me from Larnaca to my home in the TRNC?
A – Probably not, unless your taxi driver is willing to wait with you until your PCR test is >72 hours old. We recommended you stay 1 night on the Greek side before trying to cross the border. You may then be able to arrange for a taxi to collect you from your accommodation and take you to the TRNC.
Q – Are taxis allowed to cross the border from the RoC into the TRNC?
A – Yes, taxi drivers are allowed to cross the border.
Q – I have a flight booked from Larnaca to Germany/UK can I cross the border to catch my flight?
A – No, while it is possible to cross into the TRNC across the border, it is not possible to cross from the TRNC to the RoC at any crossing point. Some people have asked their embassies to assist them to cross the border, however most European Embassies are no longer assisting people to cross into the RoC to get flights, unless you have a serious medical reason for needing to cross.
Q – I am coming from the UK and understand I now need a QR code on my PCR test certificate in order for it to meet the requirements. Is this correct?
A – No, if you are coming to Cyprus and transiting through Istanbul, you do not require a PCR test certificate with a QR code which has been entered into the e-nabiz system. PCR certificates are only required for people who are categorised as coming from Turkey, i.e. Turks and Foreign nationals who have spent more than 14 days in Turkey and so have obtained their PCR test within Turkey. If you are coming from any other country you do not require a PCR test with a QR code.
Q – I was planning to come to the TRNC via Ercan this week, but my flight has now been cancelled, why is this?
A – The Ministry of Health has reduced the number of flights arriving at Ercan to only 6 per day, as a measure to reduce the number of Covid 19 cases in the TRNC. This is a reduction from around 15 flights per day, so unfortunately some passengers will have their flight postponed or cancelled.
Q – I understand that the number of Covid case is rising in the TRNC, is it still safe to come?
A – Yes, the number of Covid 19 cases is slowly increasing, as you can see from the graphs on our Covid 19 page, however the rise is quite gradual and most people testing positive have been identified as a result of testing on entry to the TRNC. A few cases have been found in the local community, but so far there are only 1 or 2 cases which cannot be directly linked to a known existing Covid case. Compared to many other countries the rate of corona virus infection is low.
Q – I understand when I get to my villa I need to self-isolate for 1 week and not see any visitors. Does this mean someone needs to deliver 7 days of food to my house before I arrive?
A – No, while you should not have visitors during the period you are in self-isolation if a friend or neighbour goes shopping for you, it is reasonable for them to leave this outside your door/in your garden and you take it in once they have gone. The same would apply for takeaway service.
Q – I am aware that you can self-isolate at home if you have Temporary/Permanent Residency or you are a home owner. I am renting a property am I allowed to isolate at home and if so what evidence do I need to provide when I arrive?
A – The regulations state that you must either have residency or be a home owner to be allowed to self-isolate at home, however we understand that if you rent a property and can provide evidence of your rental contract you are likely to be allowed to self-isolate at home.
Q – I am coming to stay with my family who live in Cyprus, will I be allowed to self-isolate at home and will my family need to self-isolate with me?
A – The rules are far from clear, we are aware of people who are staying with family members and have been allowed to enter and self-isolate at home. We do not believe that these people have been advised that their family must self-isolate as well. We would recommend that if possible you try to remain as separate as possible within the house and ensure that you use different towels, cutlery and other items and regularly wash your hands and any communal surfaces.
Q – How do I work out when my self-isolation period is complete?
A – In general unless you arrive very early in the morning, the first day of your self-isolation is counted as the day after you arrive. Therefore your self-isolation period ends on the 8th day after this. Some people have been notified by the authorities that their self-isolation has ended, but most people have not been requested to undertake a 3rd PCR test and have not been specifically notified the self-isolation period is complete. If you are unsure if you self-isolation period is complete we suggest you call 1102 and ask them for advice.
Q – Will I need at PCR test at the end of my self-isolation period?
A – No, the Ministry of Health Statement, states that a third PCR test may be required at the end of the self-isolation period. If you are not contacted to have a PCR test, don’t worry this is not a compulsory requirement.
Q – I am flying from the TRNC to Germany, do I need a PCR test?
A - Yes, The German Health Ministry now require all people entering Germany to have a PCR test and this can be obtained either less than 48 before entering the country or at the airport. However, Turkish Airlines have stated that all passengers flying to Germany must have a negative PCR test before boarding the aeroplane so you must take a PCR test before you fly from Ercan.
Q – I have arrived from the UK to stay in a holiday apartment, but I am now being advised that I must quarantine in a government facility for 7 days. Who will pay for this?
A – If you need to quarantine in a government facility then you will need to meet the cost of this yourself. The cost for 7 days in quarantine is 265 TL per day, plus 2 PCR test which cost 200 TL each. Total cost = 2,255 TL
Q - I am coming from the UK and have an NHS PCR test. Will this be acceptable?
A – Several people have successfully entered with an NHS PCR test, it is important to avoid any issues to print off both your test results and your email giving the date and time of your test, as this information is not included on the test results email. Having this information on your mobile phone without a paper copy may not be acceptable.
Q – Are there any issues with PCR test results in languages other than English or Turkish?
A – We have heard reports that a few people with PCR tests in languages other than English or Turkish have experienced difficulties when entering either Turkey or the TRNC. If your PCR test is in another language, check that it is possible to read the following information – date and time of test, test result – ie is it clear that the test is negative. It’s also important that the document clearly states what type of test it is – this should be SARS CoV-2, not just Covid 19 as this is incorrect. If any of this information is unclear we recommend that you get it translated into English and officially stamped to avoid any issues when you arrive at either Istanbul or Ercan airports.
Q – What documentation do I need to provide to show that I am eligible for self-isolation rather than quarantine in a hotel?
A – If you have temporary or permanent residency you will not need to provide any documentary proof. If you are a home owner and have a copy of your kocan/rental contract, it would be advisable to bring this, in case you are questioned at the airport. If you don’t have this information bring any other document you may have which shows you live in the TRNC, such as bills or your TRNC driving licence. We are aware that some people who do not live in the TRNC have simply been asked to supply the address where they are staying or presented short term rental agreements and have been allowed to self-isolate. If you are do not have residency, are not a home owner or long term renter, there is a risk you may be asked to quarantine in a government quarantine facility.
Q – How long can I remain in the TRNC?
A - When you enter the TRNC it is standard to be issued with a 30 days visa. This can be increased up to 90 days if you provide evidence (Kocan / Rental agreement) that you either live or are planning to live in the TRNC. If you wish to stay longer than your visa entitlement you must apply for temporary residency