Coronavirus Restrictions in Turkey to be Lifted as of 1st of June

Turkey is going to lift coronavirus restrictions as of June 1 (next Monday). According to the official statement, the normalization process involves intercity travel and allow restaurants. Moreover, cafes, parks, and sports facilities will able to open from June 1. Because it eases restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the statement on Thursday.

Speaking after the weekly cabinet meeting, Erdoğan unveiled the details of Turkey’s new steps toward normalization. Erdoğan said that as of June 1 onward Turkey will lift travel restrictions between provinces. Civil servants, on the other hand, will return to their normal job routine. Further, people will able to attend open-air concerts. However, bars and hookah bars will remain shut.

Coronavirus restrictions in Turkey are going to be lifted on Monday on a large scale. (Hurriyet)
Coronavirus restrictions in Turkey are going to be lifted on Monday on a large scale. (Hurriyet)

According to the statement, restaurants, cafes, beaches, parks, gardens, and driving courses will reopen on this date. What’s more, museums, sports facilities, daycare centers, and kindergartens will also reopen on the same date.

Some of Coronavirus Restrictions in Turkey will Remain

Erdoğan, however, added that some restrictions on people’s movement will be maintained. Accordingly, limited restrictions would remain in place on the movements of those aged over 65 and under 18. Youths aged 19 and 20 will now able to go outdoors, he said. Afterward, the Interior Ministry of Turkey, Süleyman Soylu, made another announcement.  It says that Turkey will continue to impose lockdown in 15 provinces, including Istanbul, this weekend.

COVID-19 in Turkey with the Latest Numbers

The virus has killed more than 4,300 people in Turkey and infected nearly 160,000. “Under the new normal order, let us not neglect masks, distancing, and hygiene,” Erdoğan said in a televised address. So, wearing masks and personal hygiene and distance are still vitally important to prevent the virus’ spreading.

The announcement comes amid a drop in the number of reported daily COVID-19 deaths and infections in the past week. In early April, Turkey halted travel between 31 cities, including Istanbul, excluding transit passage and essential supplies. It subsequently reduced the restrictions to 15 cities but they will end too on June 1.

Intercity Trains and Mass Prayers Begin to Service

Among other easing measures, Turkey began operating intercity trains on Thursday after a two-month gap. Mosques, on the other hand, will begin allowing mass prayers on May 29. Earlier Thursday, intercity train services resumed on a limited basis. Trains will make 16 trips daily, connecting the cities of Ankara, Istanbul, Konya, and Eskişehir.

The trains are operating at half-capacity, and passengers are being allowed onboard only with government-issued permission to travel. And authorities will put into effect a code certifying system in order to be sure that passengers don not have COVID-19 infection.

Istanbul's Maiden Tower is one of the most famous tourist attractions, now it is silence, too. (aHaber)
Istanbul’s Maiden Tower is one of the most famous tourist attractions, now it is silence, too. (aHaber)

Turkish Transportation Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said travelers showing signs of illness would not able to travel by trains. In case a passenger exhibits COVID-19 symptoms on a train, then authorities will take them to the hospital right away. And a special “isolation section” will take care of those who have an infection. Health officials, later on, hand over the situation at the nearest station, he said.

The government has also opened shopping malls and hairdressers recently. Mosques have started to allow congregations for two daytime prayers starting Friday (today).

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