People in Istanbul to be fined 900 Turkish Liras for not wearing mask
People in Istanbul will be fined 900 Turkish Liras (around $130) if they fail to wear face masks after the use of masks was made mandatory in the province earlier this week as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the country spiked lately.
Istanbul, the country’s largest province by population, made it obligatory on June 17 for its residents to wear masks in public places.
Following the decision, the local health board announced on June 19 that the fine for not wearing face masks will be 900 liras. Previously, the district governors could impose up to 3,150 liras in fine, but the penalty would differ from district to district.
The local heath board has decided to set a flat fine of 900 liras for all districts in Istanbul.
Law enforcement officers already hit the streets in the city, as well as the capital Ankara and other provinces to make sure that people are observing the face mask rule.
Face masks are now mandatory in 48 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on June 17 that the number of daily confirmed cases in Istanbul averaged 653 over the past month. However, he noted, in the past three days this went up to around 700 as of June 17.
However, he added that the recent flux in the COVID-19 cases across the country were within the expected range.
Koca noted that as Turkey relaxes virus-related restrictions, the public must continue to adhere to measures such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance to ensure the virus does not flare up.
The initial results from the screening work suggest that 1.5 percent of the population is antibody positive, meaning that they already had and recovered from the disease, said Professor İsmail Balık at Ankara University’s department of infectious diseases.
“There are 250,000 people among us who could spread the virus and most of us are not immune to the disease,” he told Hürriyet newspaper.