Turkey tightens measures with weekend lockdowns, weekday curfews

Turkey tightens measures with weekend lockdowns, weekday curfews

Turkey tightens measures with weekend lockdowns, weekday curfews

Turkey has further toughened COVID-19 measures with full weekend lockdowns and weeknight curfews as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase across the country.

“A general curfew will be applied every weeknight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced following a cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara on Nov. 30.

There will also be a weekend-long curfew, from Friday 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, he added.

New restrictions will come into effect today at 9 p.m.

On Nov. 20, Turkey had announced a partial weekend curfew from 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. and other restrictions nationwide to help stem the virus’ spread.

Some sectors, including production, supply, health, and agriculture, will be exempt from the curfews, Erdoğan said.

He added that some shops that provide home delivery service, such as markets and butchers, will also be excluded from the weekend restrictions.

In addition, people who are 20 and younger, as well as those who are 65 and older, are barred from using public transportation, he said, adding that restaurants will operate on a delivery-only basis.

As part of the new measures, kindergartens and similar educational institutions will be suspended, a step already announced over the weekend for Istanbul and Ankara.

Funeral prayers will be performed with a maximum of 30 people, including relatives of the deceased, and weddings will also not exceed this number.

Places such as Turkish baths, saunas, massage salons, swimming pools, and amusement parks will also halt activities.

The number of people who can enter crowded streets and squares will be limited by local authorities.

Everyone will be required to present their individual electronic HES codes to show their infection status – available through a free smartphone app – when entering shopping centers.

According to the new rules, house gatherings, including New Year’s Eve celebrations, will not be allowed.

Reminding that Turkey inked an agreement with China to purchase 50 million vaccine doses, Erdoğan said that the vaccine would be administered free of charge, starting with health care workers next month.