ANKARA

Scheduled flights to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) resumed on Wednesday after three months of suspension due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines flight carrying 180 passengers landed at the Ercan Airport in Lefkosa at 2.20 a.m. local time Wednesday (2320GMT Tuesday) according to the Turkish News Agency-Cyprus.

Turkey’s low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines also made its first flight to Ercan Airport from Sabiha Gokcen Airport early on Wednesday, carrying 211 passengers.

Those who travel from COVID-19 risky countries will come to the country on the condition that they will stay in quarantine for 14 days.

Passengers from Turkey will not be put under quarantine but they will take PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) tests, COVID-19 diagnostic test kits, before and after arrival at the TRNC.

General Manager of T&T Ercan Airport Serhat Ozcelik said they have worked to offer a healthy and safe travel experience during the suspension of scheduled flights.

Ozcelik said the airport took all preventive measures, including social distancing in visuals to landmarks, check-in areas, as well as disinfected mats, and passports.

Meanwhile, Ledra Palace — a crossing point between the TRNC and Greek Cypriot administration — began to operate between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. The TRNC now has six open border gates.

The TRNC confirmed its first infection on March 10, while a total of four people, including two German citizens, died from the disease.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has spread to at least 188 countries and regions across the world, with Europe and the US the worst hit.

The pandemic has killed nearly 512,000 people with the number of confirmed cases exceeding 10.5 million, while over 5.37 million have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

* Writing by Gozde Bayar

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