Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a partial weekend curfew and ordered restaurants and coffee shops to switch to only takeout service as coronavirus infections and deaths surge.
“We are facing a serious situation,” Erdogan told the nation on Tuesday after chairing a cabinet meeting in which the new measures were discussed.
“The number of cases and deaths have reached a serious level, starting with Istanbul, so we need to be more careful.”
Erdogan said the curfew would be from 1700 to 0700 GMT [8pm to 10am local time] and start this Friday without disruption of the supply chain.
Key measures against Covid-19
The latest wave of restrictions also includes the closure of all cinemas and restricted hours for most stores and shopping malls.
Schools who are in the mid-term break will switch to remote learning until the end of the year.
A partial curfew which was already in effect for people over the age of 65 has also been expanded to include those under 20, with the exception of those who have to go out for work.
Cinemas will remain closed until the end of the year.
Malls, markets, restaurants, and hairdressers will be open from 10 am to 8 pm throughout the week, while restaurants and cafes will only provide delivery services.
People aged 65 and above can go outdoors between 0700 GMT to 1000 GMT [10am to 1pm local time] and youth 20 and below are available to go outdoors from 1000 GMT to 1300 GMT [1pm to 4pm local time].
Take away service at restaurants, diners, coffee shops will be available between 0700 GMT to 1700 GMT [10am to 8pm local time].
After 1700 GMT, only online orders can be met.
Education will continue online until the end of the year, Erdogan said, adding all sports competitions will continue to be played without an audience.
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New cases and deaths
Turkey registered 3,819 more Covid-19 patients over the past 24 hours, according to figures released by the Health Ministry.
As many as 2,688 patients also recovered over the past day, pushing the tally to 359,063, while the death toll rose by 103 to reach 11,704.
It is the first time the daily toll topped 100 since April 25.
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Tougher restrictions might follow
Erdogan said the restrictions could become tougher if the current trends continue.
But he stressed that he would prefer to avoid that in order to “keep our economy alive.”
“If the curve of the epidemic continues its upwards course, discussing more painful measures will become unavoidable,” he said.
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