International Students in North Cyprus face challenges in entering country due to COVID-19 travel measures

Stringent COVID-19 travel restrictions in Northern Cyprus have seen International students inundated with a barrage of challenges to gain entry into the de facto state. The region of Northern Cyprus has been occupied by Turkey since 1974.

The travel regulations in the region require that incoming students be placed in a quarantine facility at a cost of $640. Countries of departure are colour coded on the basis of anticipated risk and grouped according to the epidemiological spread as provided by the World Health Organisation.

This has led to hundreds of incoming students being stranded at airports, with others facing deportation to their home countries. Students have lamented on having to use part of the funds reserved for tuition and living costs to pay for quarantine.

The Interior Minister of National Education and Culture, Olgun Amcaoglu, stated that there would be a reversal of the quarantine mandate and a refund of payments to students.

Students from countries like Nigeria are still being prevented from boarding their flights without presenting documentation showing payment for the quarantine facility.

Over 20 African countries like Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda are considered high risk.

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