Stricter virus curbs may be in the offing in Turkey
Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
If the recently announced restrictions fail to slow the spread of COVID-19 within 15 days, more measures could be introduced, including around the clock curfews on weekends, to take the outbreak under control.
The government said partial weekend lockdowns would be implemented, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and shopping malls would only operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Moreover, restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide takeaway and delivery services.
Under the new curbs, which are set to take effect from 8 p.m. on Nov. 20, cinemas will be closed and schools will
will switch to remote learning.
The movements of people aged 65 and over and those under 20 will also be restricted.
Officials reckon that the curbs targeting schools, elderly and young people will hinder the movement of 35 million to 40 million people which should help slow the pace of the outbreak.
The impact of those measures will be observed over the next two weeks and if the disease shows no signs of losing steam, other curbs could be introduced gradually.
Those restrictions will include total lockdowns on weekends, or limited curfews in weekdays. But a ban on intercity travel is not expected.
Following the assessments on the impact of the recently introduced restrictions, province-specific measures may be taken by local pandemic boards. As part of those actions, “warning signs” will be posted on the buildings where COVID-19 cases are detected and home visits could be banned.
Experts noted that around 20 percent of virus tests are now returning positive, which was the level seen in April at the height of the outbreak. They proposed campaigns to prevent home visits to raise awareness to curb the spread of the disease.