Poles end quarantine in Northern Cyprus, en route to Poland

A group of 50 Poles, who were quarantined in a hotel in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is en route to Germany, from where they will be transported home.

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The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a region of the Cyprus island, inhabited by the Turkish population. It is recognised as a separate state only by the Republic of Turkey, the international community considers it as a part of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Poles had to stay for 14 days in the five-star hotel Salamis Bay Conti, because of the confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. It was the first case in TRNC. The “patient zero” was a 65-year-old German woman, who, according to local media, has already recovered and left the island.

“The airplane took off from Ercan at 6am local time. A total of 110 passengers are onboard,” Serhat Ozcelik, the General Manager of the Ercan airport in TRNC, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

He added that at least two more airplanes evacuating guests from the hotel will depart from TRNC on Tuesday. International law states that all those aircraft are obliged to have a stopover in Turkey.

The costs of return of the majority of Poles who stayed at the hotel were covered by the Exim Tours tourist agency.

Poles are en route to Dresden, Germany. “A coach will wait for them there. It will take them to Poland,” Marcin Małysz, a representative of the tour operator told PAP.

“We cannot predict how long the trip to Poland will take. It all depends on the situation on the borders. The coach will first go to Katowice [southern Poland], then to Warsaw. People will have to arrange transport to their homes by themselves,” Mr Małysz added.

Despite the quarantine in TRNC, Poles who return to their homeland will have to stay in self-isolation for another 14 days, due to the Polish regulations, obliging all those returning to Poland to quarantine.

Poles who stayed at Salamis Bay Conti could not use flights of Polish national airline LOT from the “Flight Back Home” campaign, due to the political issues concerning the status of TRNC.