Tourism's fate “up in the air”
Taken from this week's issue
The government last month announced a trial of wristbands that would allow people arriving in the TRNC to spend quarantine at home.
Around 250 people took part in the project last month. It was hoped that, if successful, the system could have been rolled out on November 15.
The government’s hopes were dashed, however, after the tagging system crashed.
Speaking to Cyprus Today, Health Minister Ali Pilli said: “The tagging system test has unfortunately ended with some minor glitches. These problems include faults in the wristbands’ internet connection, as well as [problems receiving] the signal when a person leaves a property.”
Dr Pilli added that the lack of a government has also hampered efforts to implement the home-quarantine scheme.
He was still hopeful that the wristband system problems can be fixed in time for the New Year.
“The cost of the tagging bracelet will be about 200TL per person,” Dr Pilli added.
“We are aware of the frustration the quarantine procedure is causing. Nobody wants to stay in a quarantine centre but this is a decision taken for the health of all of us.”
Cyprus Turkish Travel Agents Union head Orhan Tolun said: “This is a catastrophe for us and the sector. . . We know that many people abroad . . . want to come to North Cyprus for Christmas and the New Year. Now everything is again up in the air.”
British Residents Society chairman Peter Wilkins said: “It is important for the wristband to be able to track when a person leaves the house, otherwise there is no point.”