A second first time
Submerged in Nicosia traffic, check after check at non-existent checkpoints, and an hour and a half later I arrive at my destination, our choir rehearsal.
This was the first time I’d crossed to the north since the start of the covid pandemic in Cyprus in March, 2020.
As I was simply going from point A to B i.e from my home (to my mother’s home) and then to our choir rehearsal, I didn’t have much of a chance to notice any changes aside from a few swish new buildings that had popped up along the main road from Dereboyu to the crossing point.
However, the extra check that took place at the crossing point/checkpoint by the Greek Cypriot police on the way to the north was impossible to miss.
I asked, “Is this a new procedure (checking us on the way to the north too)?”
He said, “No it’s been in place for ages.”
Given that I hadn’t crossed in a year and a half, I guess I wouldn’t know about any new procedures.
However, there’s an irony to the situation: whenever you may imply or say outright that there is a border in place across the island, you’ll be reprimanded and told that there is no border, but that the other side is occupied.
These days though the crossing points are looking very much like checkpoints. Are they not?
How will we continue to impress this point upon visitors to the island?
A round trip to Trahonas and back (30km) from Strovolos required the following:
- ID shown four times
- Vaccination card shown once
- Insurance bought (separate insurance for the north) and shown once
- Rapid test shown once (you need a rapid test for indoor spaces in the north)
And by the way, the following week on the way back, a Greek Cypriot official simply waved us through.
- It was necessary for me to obtain my insurance at the crossing point and not from the usual company in the north that I get it from. As a result, insurance is much more expensive.
- Due to the increase in covid infections on both sides, we now require a rapid test (printed out and in English) to cross to the north.
- The other
- Lush fields and running rivers
The car insurance regulations for the north seems to have changed in the last few months.
I used to get insurance from a booth in Pyla/Pile village but that to have closed closed. An insurance broker told me the companies who run the booths on the Green Line lobbied the Government to get a monopoly on isnurance for southern registered cars.
Unfortunately that’s correct! I used to get my insurance from a broker. I waa then informed by him that there waa some court case pending on the matter. However, I haven’t heard anything since. If you have please do let me know.
I spoke to an English resident of north Cyprus who is an insurance agent for one of the large companies. They can no longer offer year round insurance for the north for drivers of RoC registere vehicles.
It seems like the insurance companies that sell through the booths at the crossings have lobbied the administration to prevent sales other than through them. Since then I have always bought insurance at the crossings.
Thank you much for clarifying that! Indeed, I figured it was something like that.