People flock to barbershops, malls in first phase of Turkey’s normalization plan
But Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca criticized some photos of people lining up without face masks and waiting in long queues outside several malls while not heeding social distancing rules.
“Today, long queues in front of malls and crowds at doors of the malls have formed. The social distancing rule was mostly not followed. There were even people not wearing masks,” Koca said late on May 11 in a Twitter post.
“Neither wearing a mask nor social distancing are protective on their own, measures must be completely followed,” Koca said, adding that the risk of infection continues.
Most shopping malls, barbershops and beauty salons across Turkey resumed business on May 11 as part of a gradual easing of the restrictions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
But long queues were seen at newly reopened shopping malls, which have strict hygiene requirements.
Some 500-meter-long queues continued to be formed in front of a shopping mall in Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district, even after two hours since its opening.
Several security guards were deployed at the entrances of the malls to screen the temperatures of the customers.
Some disinfectant units were available for use to customers in particular parts of the malls inside, while most of the stores and food courts were observed to be closed.
In some malls which have 220 stores, only 40 of the shops were open.
The manager of a mall told Demirören News Agency that almost all stores are expected to open on June 1, while supermarkets inside the malls were expected to open as soon as possible.
In the Aegean province of İzmir, municipal teams inspecting the malls observed that all 13 malls opened were complying with the rules.
Barbershops and beauty salons also resumed business, abiding by rules such as following cleaning regulations, working on appointment system, and serving only half the number of customers they can normally take in.
A 40 percent price hike was reported in the barbershop services, as barbers were scrambling to make up for their shops’ financial losses during closures.
Some barbers were booked with appointments for the next two weeks.
Barbers, who were asked to comply with strict measures, were frequently inspected by municipal teams.
Meanwhile, a COVID-19 test carried out on barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons in the southwestern province of Burdur has detected a barber in the town of Kocaaliler infected with the coronavirus, with all customers that got haircuts from him being taken into quarantine.
The entrance and exits of the town were closed.
Hairdressers in various cities in Turkey also started to serve on an appointment system, not allowing any customer to drop by and get served.
Beauty salons have been warned against services such as blow drying, manicures, pedicures, hair washing and waxing.