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NO LOCKDOWN. PARTIAL CURFEW REMAINS
As you are probably aware there was speculation over the weekend that we would be subject to tighter regulations governing the operation of businesses, similar to those of March 2020, from today.
However following a series of Government meetings it has been decided NOT to introduce these recommendations until a further review has been conducted in the coming week.
REGULATIONS IN FORCE
The Communicable Diseases Supreme Committee made some recommendations due to the pandemic in our country on January 16, 2021. You will appreciate that the Infectious Diseases Supreme Committee makes decisions regarding the implementation and / or the rules to be applied in order to control the pandemic according to the number of cases seen in the country. The final decisions regarding such action however is under the authority of the Council of Ministers.
The decisions taken by the Supreme Committee on January 16, 2021 were thoroughly discussed and evaluated in the Council of Ministers and decided NOT to implement the recommendations, but to further evaluate the situation at another meeting to be held in the coming week.
Considering the opinions of the Ministries related to the economy, it was decided to follow the process for another week and to bring the decisions taken on January 16, 2021, if needed, by taking the pandemic in the country into account.
Therefore, the decisions taken by the Communicable Diseases Supreme Committee on January 11, 2021 and entered into force by being published in the official gazette will remain in effect as stated below until the new decisions are published. These are
- The partial curfew introduced on 11th January from 10pm until 5am remains in place.
- After 22:00, it was decided that the decision to stop the activities in the areas of cafe, restaurant, patisserie, bet office, hairdresser, beauty centre, coffee house, coffee house, gym, pita shop, bagel shop, barber shop will continue in the same way. People working in these sectors should repeat the PCR tests every fourteen days.
- It was decided to extend the decision on not gathering more than 10 people in houses until the next decision.
- Classrooms, study, private lessons, and course activities were suspended until the next decision.
Having taken advice from the relevant authorities it is apparent that Lambousa Market remains open. As a result of this we are intending to re-open the Clinic this Saturday 16th January, between 10am and 12noon.
However given the environmental situation at the HUT we have decided NOT to re-open this clinic until we are confident that the conditions allow.
These decisions continue to be re-evaluated on a daily basis and should the circumstances change we will let you know immediately.
Once you have received your new password for the website, please login to the site and check you have access.
You will notice under the BRS logo it should have your name and underneath that should be the words ‘My details’. If you click on this, you will see all of your recorded details that we hold. Please check those details to make sure they are correct. If you have changed your phone no, email address, passport or any other detail please click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and select ‘members - Pat Waddington’ and provide the correct detail so that the database can be updated.
It is also a Government requirement that we should hold members Passport details so if we do not have them recorded please follow the instructions above so we can comply.
FACEBOOK GROUP – BRITISH RESIDENTS’ SOCIETY-OFFICIAL
This still remains a good way of being able to find information or get questions answered. At present we have over 915 members who have joined the Group.
NOTICE OF CLINIC CLOSURES
As a matter of course, during the pandemic, we have constantly reviewed our operations in particular with regard to Clinics. We are keen not only to protect our members, but also to avoid putting our representatives in a potentially harmful situation. Therefore, due to the ongoing increase in COVID-19 infections in the Girne District we have now decided to close our Clinics at Lambousa Market and the Hut, for this Saturday, 9th January 2021.
We will continue to review the situation on a daily basis and make any future decisions regarding these clinics based on local information.
We would also like to confirm that the BRS is well aware of the fact that some members have decided to restrict their activities to an absolute minimum, and that renewal of memberships are not currently seen as a priority, which we fully appreciate.
We have previously advised our members whose memberships have elapsed that we will continue to provide them with Newsletters, Updates and access to the Website. We will continue to review this and advise when this support will end, but we anticipate this will not be until the Summer.
We will continue to keep you updated in all matters related to this matter.
VACCINE ROLL OUT
COVID VACCINATIONS - LATEST
The Health Minister, Ali Pilli has confirmed that vaccination in the TRNC will begin on or about 15th January, and Health Professionals as well as inmates of Nursing Homes will be the first to be inoculated. The vaccine, which will be supplied by Turkey, is hoped to have been given to 60% of the population by March.
As yet no plans have been released for the ‘roll out’ beyond the initial vaccinations. We will let you know once we have that detail.
Until that time please continue to follow all of the instructions to prevent the spread of the virus!
HANDS - FACE - SPACE
Welcome to our January 2021 Newsletter. This will not be the usual length of Newsletter as for the Committee the period between mid-December and the New Year is traditionally quiet. There have been a few ‘News’ items circulated regarding changes to COVID regulation and these will continue to be sent to members independently from Newsletters.
May I take this opportunity to publicly thank one of our Committee members David Veasey who has been our Webmaster for the past six years. David took on the task despite not being an IT guru but has always dealt with supplying information to our members and updating the ‘old’ system with real ‘customer service’ values. Recently he told us of his desire to be ‘released’ from his role and so the ‘new’ website was developed. I would like to thank David, and his wife Yvonne, for their unstinting loyalty and desire to help our members!
The new website is now up and running and provides us with the ability to rapidly update information in the various categories for members. Please advise us if you notice any information which needs updating or further clarification. Please do this by clicking on the ‘Contact Us’ tab of the menu and this will take you to a form which you can complete. This also allows you to choose who you need to contact. Please select ‘general enquiries’ if you do not know who to direct your queries to and in turn, they will be directed to the correct person.
We are being informed by some members that they have not yet received their passwords for the new system (after checking their spam folders), please direct these queries and any other technical questions to our Webmaster-Nigel Roth as he is best placed to help. We are aware than over 100 members have incorrect email addresses recorded on the system so we will hopefully be able to identify those and correct them.
We also have a system in place for anyone who is interested in joining the BRS to complete an online membership form. They are then instructed to print the form and take it to a clinic where they can pay. So if you know anyone who wishes to join the BRS please direct them to the website https://brstrnc.com
You will also notice that we have a ‘booking form’ included in the ‘Events’ section of the website, so when we have events to share with you, the opportunity will be there to pre book direct. We will provide more information in the near future.
RESIDENCY AND DRIVING LICENCE INCREASED COSTS
Please find below the increased fees for Residency and Driving Licence charges.
New Cost for a 6-month Residency Visa will now be 250TL
New Cost for a 12-month Residency Visa will now be 500TL
New Cost for a 24-month Residency Visa will now be 1,000TL
Stamp Duty associated with Residency Visa applications will now be 21.50TL
New Cost for a 2-year Driving License will now be 428.80 TL
New Cost for a 3-year Driving License will now be 574.70 TL
New Cost for a 5-year Driving License will now be 884.50 TL
New Cost for a 10-year Driving License will now be 1,470.00 TL
HEALTH AND WELFARE
During this weekend we were made aware of the fact that the owner of the ‘Blue Song’ restaurant in Lapta had been tested positive for Covid-19.
We have subsequently received confirmation that he was only at the restaurant on December 31st, but we would advise anyone with concerns to self-isolate for a period of seven days and should they become unwell to obtain a PCR test without delay.
HOME CARE FOR MEMBERS
We have been made aware of a new Company in the TRNC who are looking to offer home care. North Cyprus Let Us Care services limited “Will bring a wide variety of medical facilities into your own home providing the patient, with a convenient and comforting home care experience.”
The company provide English speaking nurses and care workers to expats of all nationalities, as well as to local Cypriots.
An initial assessment will be made by one of their health care professionals, who will discuss with the patient and family what is required and will agree between them an appropriate service package.
More information can be found on their web site: let-us-care.com and they also have a Facebook page.
Contact details: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
0(539) 103 0088 – English, Turkish & Russian.
0(539) 104 0088 – English & Turkish
Don't forget that should you need access to our Facebook Group you will find us at British Residents' Society - Official. We currently have over 900 of our members registered for the Group.
- Lapta (Lambousa Market – Saturday mornings 10.00 to 12.00)
- Alsancak (Creditwest Bank) Wednesdays 9.30 to 11.30
- Girne (The Hut - Saturday mornings 10.00 to 12.00)
- Catalkoy (Creditwest Bank – Monday mornings 09.30 – 11.30 am)
- Bogaz (Eddie’s Restaurant 1st and 3rd Saturday each month 11 am – 1pm)
- Famagusta (Creditwest Bank) Alternate Wednesdays 9.30 to 11.30
MEMBERS – HAVE YOUR SAY
Whilst the pages of our newsletter are limited, feedback is important to us. If you have something to tell us, happy or sad, that concerns you or another member please forward your news with permission to print to our ‘Contact Us’ section on the website.
Following a meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday (30 December 2020) decisions proposed by the Communicable Diseases Group were ratified.
The main decision was to introduce an overnight curfew from today until 4 January 2021 between the hours of 10pm and 5am.
Also from today it is forbidden to allow a group of people exceeding TEN in number to gather at houses. This is until the 3 January 2021.
Until 10 January 2021 no persons crossing the Green Line for ANY reason will be exempt from quarantine regulations.
Between today and 18 January 2021 no private lessons or courses are allowed.
A decision to review Quarantine regulations of persons ariving from other Countries will be extended until 31 January 2021.
We will, of course, bring you any further changes once confirmed.
Let us all hope that with the acceptance of more vaccines we can see an end to these restrictions
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
PARTIAL CURFEW INTRODUCED
INTRODUCTION OF PARTIAL CURFEW
As from December 28, 2020, the following businesses will have to close after 9pm. Cafes, restaurants, patisseries, betting offices, hairdressers, beauty centres, massage parlours, gyms, pita shops, simit shops, barbers’ shops. This does not affect their ability to open until 9pm. However, take-away delivery services can operate after 9pm.
The decision to close taverns, bars, clubs, and similar entertainment venues has been extended until 04 January 2021.
It has been necessary to repeat the decision we made regarding the New Year's Eve entertainment programs, which bans all New Year's Eve celebrations being held either on the street or indoors. It has been decided not to carry out any kind of entertainment activities until 4th January 2021.
The decision regarding the transportation sector has been reviewed (buses, minibuses, taxis, etc). It has been decided that the vehicles carrying out transportation must not carry passengers by the driver, but that the passengers in buses and minibuses should be in a seating arrangement so that the seat behind the driver remains empty.
It has been decided to extend the decision regarding the suspension of unquarantined entries for 3 days or less entering our country by charter flights, private aircraft, scheduled flights, and ships.
It was deemed appropriate to allow UN, EU, British High Commission, Buffer Zone and Peace Corps personnel to pass through the border gates provided they document negative PCR tests conducted in the last week.
RESTRICTIONS ON ENTERING THE TRNC
Anyone who has been in the UK, Netherlands, Denmark or South Africa in the last 14 days who is not a TRNC citizen will NOT be allowed entry. Any TRNC citizens who have been in any of these countries within the last 14 days will be placed into mandatory quarantine for 14 days, on entry.
There have also been changes to the entry into the Republic of Cyprus from the UK. Only those UK citizens with Residency in the RoC will be allowed entry.
Following the increase in the number of 'local' infections, anyone found not wearing masks or complying with social distancing rules that are in force will be fined.
REINTRODUCTION OF LOCKDOWN
There has been no news regarding a further lockdown as had been feared. At this moment the rules that were issued last week regarding Christmas and New Year celebration rules are still in force. The fact that the service industry workers were required to undergo further PCR tests may have been why the situation stays the same.
ENJOY THE HOLIDAY
CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR
As you will have seen we have 'turned off' the old Website and are just waiting for the new site to be accessible. Once it is you will all receive an email which will include your new individual password for the Members area of the website.
The new website gives us the ability to send out news updates within minutes of deciding that certain information should be circulated to members. For this reason the current 'Weekly Updates' will be replaced by 'News Updates' as and when necessary. Our newsletters will continue to be circulated to Members monthly.
As we announced some weeks ago we are continuing to send out News and Newsletters to those of you who have been unable to renew your membership whilst you have not been in the TRNC. We will continue to send such items until the situation with COVID-19 changes allowing lapsed members to return. Should you wish to renew your membership prior to this then maybe ask a friend or neighbour who is here, in the TRNC, to attend a clinic and renew it for you!
Our Facebook Group continues to grow and is proving popular with members who like the immediacy of the content. I would also like to thank those members who have contributed to the group for their information, which is proving useful for other members.
I would also like to thank my Committee who have worked very hard this year, which has proved to be somewhat challenging but knowing that we have ben able to support you, our Members, has been rewarding. Let us hope that 2021 proves to be a better year all round.
Please stay safe and enjoy the holiday period - MERRY CHRISTMAS and have a happy NEW YEAR.
Peter Wilkins (Chairman)
CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR
CLINICS CHRISTMAS CLOSURE
Usually our last clinic of the year is held at our Christmas Cheer event. However this year we will operate the Clinics at Lambousa Market on Saturday 19th December (10am - 12 noon) and Creditwest Catalkoy on Monday 21st December (9.30am - 11.30am). These will be our last Clinics of 2020.
We will 're-open' on Saturday 2nd January at Lambousa Market.
WE ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE OVER TO OUR NEW WEBSITE
The old site will be down from tomorrow (18th December) and the new site will hopefully be up and running shortly.
You will receive an email when it is live which will contain a new password so that you can login to the members area more easily.