Kato Pyrgos residents blocked the road which leads to the Turkish occupied enclaved of Kokkina on Monday protesting new rules imposed by the regime in the occupied areas according to which they need to test for COVID-19 every 72 hours to cross the Limnitis checkpoint. The road to Kokkina is used by Turkish military vehicles.
Residents said that these vehicles are allowed to cross twice a week without any checks. Kato Pyrgos community leader Nicos Kleanthous said that the residents are faced with enormous inconvenience, adding that it is unacceptable for Turkish military to cross but at the same time the residents who are working in Nicosia cannot pass from Limnitis which is the quickest way to the capital.
He also said that residents who chose to pass from the Astromeritis checkpoint were also denied entrance and had to travel to Kato Pyrgos via the Kampos-Orkontas forest road. The residents expressed their determination for further measures if a solution is not found.
The Republic of Cyprus put into effect a decision to reopen the crossing points, except the one at Ledra street, for Cypriot citizens and all those who legally reside in the Republic. Those passing through are required to present a certificate saying that they are Covid-19 negative, that is no older than 72 hours prior to their crossing. Subsequently, the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime announced it would open five checkpoints, including Ledra Street, to Greek Cypriots and permanent residents of the Republic who wish to cross. Two days ago the regime announced new rules for entrance from the checkpoints, illegal airports and ports.
Turkish Cypriots working, living or studying in the Republic, as well as Maronites and Greek Cypriots living in the north need to show a negative coronavirus certificate no more than 72 hours old but they need to retest every 15 days.
The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, told the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades that uninterrupted passage through the Limnitis-Kato Pyrgos crossing point would be restored.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.