Istanbul, coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: Turkey applies new restrictions and extends curfew

Curfews are extended from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. to weekdays. The first vaccines against COVID-19 will arrive this month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced late yesterday the extension of restrictions and new curfews that, in addition to the weekends, will also be extended on weekdays, in an attempt to curb the increase in coronavirus infections, which exceeds now the 31,000 daily positives.

“A general curfew will be applied every night during the week from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.“, announced the Turkish president after a meeting of his cabinet of ministers held in Ankara, adding that the measure will come into force as of today, Tuesday.

Likewise, curfews will be maintained during the weekends, also prohibiting going out from 9 at night to 5 in the morning from Friday to Monday. Workers in sectors dedicated to production, supplies, health and agriculture will be exempt from curfews; also some food establishments that make home deliveries may operate on weekends after 9 pm.

Other measures announced last night by Erdoğan include a ban on people over 65 and those under 20 from using public transport, and restrictions on restaurants, which will only be able to serve take away food, are maintained. In addition, nurseries, saunas, Turkish baths, swimming pools and amusement parks are closed, and the number of attendees at funerals and weddings is limited to 30 people.

The first vaccines against COVID-19 will be administered in December

Local authorities may also limit the number of people who can access certain particularly busy streets and squares to avoid crowds, and it will be required to present the HES code – which can be obtained through a mobile application, and shows the health status of the wearer – to access places like shopping malls. Finally, gatherings at home are prohibited, including during New Year celebrations.

The Turkish president also confirmed the signing of an agreement to supply Turkey with 50 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, which for now has shown positive results without side effects, and which will begin to be administered free of charge in a few weeks, starting with healthcare workers.

The new measures and curfews announced in Turkey come when in the last 24 hours 31,219 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, with 6,514 new patients under treatment and another 188 deaths, bringing the total death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic to 13,746 people.