Authorities considering reopening restaurants on limited visitor basis

Authorities considering reopening restaurants on limited visitor basis

Authorities considering reopening restaurants on limited visitor basis

Turkish authorities are considering new rules before reopening cafes and restaurants, including limiting customer capacity by 30 percent and costumer’s stay at maximum 45 minutes, as the number of cases declines significantly since early December but still requires vigilance.

A series of decisions will be made after an “evaluation process” of the last few weeks due to an alarming increase in the number of daily cases reported with the new strain of the novel coronavirus throughout the country, according to daily Hürriyet.

Some measures will be implemented to mitigate the COVID-19 measures previously planned for March if a trend towards a decrease in the number of cases continues, according to the meetings held by the government and the Health Ministry.

In the meetings, officials proposed limiting customers’ sitting time to 45 minutes by opening the indoor sections of cafes and restaurants with only 30 percent capacity in order to reduce contamination risks.

The outdoor areas of these businesses may be served at 50 percent capacity, according to the plans.

The working hours of some businesses including restaurants, cafes and shopping malls have been limited as part of measures that the Turkish authorities re-imposed as of November 2020 to curb rising COVID-19 cases.

Restaurants and cafes have been serving only takeout or home deliveries since early December, when nationwide daily cases hovered around 30,000.

Meanwhile, decisions regarding educational institutions will also be implemented gradually, the report said, noting that education in secondary education institutions will start in March as planned before, and a separate planning will be made for universities.

The results of a questionnaire about online education Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) conducted with universities were also conveyed to the government.

Some comments are being made at the meetings that the second semester of universities may be extended for face-to-face education and courses may last until Aug. 1.