BRS, ministry step in after Brits stopped from boarding TA flights
Taken from this week's issue
The issue was highlighted by the British Residents Society (BRS), whose chairman Peter Wilkins told Cyprus Today that they had received complaints from passengers with old-style documents referring to them as “short-term” residents while a “Notam” – an instruction from the Civil Aviation Department to airlines – stated that only “permanent” residents were allowed to fly to the TRNC.
Currently only TRNC citizens, spouses or children of citizens, foreign residents and university students are allowed to travel from the UK to North Cyprus due to the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus.
Complaints were made as to how international students were being allowed to fly to the country while residents who had purchased property could not. “This is manifestly wrong,” one person said.
Mr Wilkins said: “The old residency permits had the wording ‘short-term’ written on them and this was not accepted by the airline.
“We immediately contacted the Public Works and Transport Ministry. The undersecretary, Suat Yeldener, was very helpful and got a new Notam issued, with amendments to the wording, which allows any resident to board the aircraft. We are very grateful to the ministry for their timely intervention and help.”
BRS deputy chairman Mike Diplock said: “The issue appears to have been that the residency permits, issued prior to the introduction of the new online system, state ‘Short Term Residency Permit’ whereas the residency permit issued through the new online system states ‘Residence Permit’ and does not differentiate between permanent or short-term.”
The new Notam, issued on Wednesday, March 3, now simply requires passengers to provide a document that shows they have “residence in TRNC”.
Other requirements for entry from the UK include a negative coronavirus PCR test result obtained within the last three days prior to travel and a 14-day quarantine period.
Speaking to this paper, Mr Yeldener said: “We want to help our residents and those who own property here to come to the TRNC without any problems.
“There was problem with the wording of the initial Notam . . . which has now been addressed. “Any residency document holder will be able to fly to North Cyprus without a problem.”
Meanwhile limits on the number of daily passenger flights to the TRNC, which had been lifted last week to allow university students due to graduate this year to return, were re-imposed on Wednesday. Only three passenger flights a day are allowed due to quarantine capacity limits.