Turkey, coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: Turkey closes schools and reinstates curfews

Turkish president announced new measures to try to curb the increase in coronavirus infections, which include serious restrictions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced late Tuesday new restrictions against the coronavirus in Turkey that include the reintroduction of curfews during weekends, new time limits for various businesses, restrictions on going outside for minors, and the closure of schools.

In a speech broadcast on television after a meeting of his cabinet of ministers that lasted for more than three hours, Erdoğan explained the new measures to try to stop the constant increase in coronavirus infections in the Eurasian country; among them, places such as restaurants, markets, food stores, shopping centers and hairdressers can only remain open from 10 in the morning to 8 in the afternoon.

Another of the measures introduced is that the recent restrictions introduced which limited the hours of going out to the street for those over 65 from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, now also extend to children and young people up to 20 years of age (except for work reasons).

In addition, schools will remain closed for the remainder of the semester, after at the end of September the preschool and primary students had begun to attend class a few days a week. In principle, during the remainder of the school semester all classes will be held online, as happened during the first wave of the pandemic.

Curfews are back

Likewise, the Turkish president reported that other measures include the closure until further notice of coffeehouses, and the closure at least until the end of the year of cinemas throughout the country. Also, although restaurants and cafes may open, they can only serve takeaway food. On the other hand, all sporting events must be held without public attendance.

Lastly, Erdoğan announced that nationwide curfews will be re-enforced throughout Turkey, with a ban on going out during the weekend between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. With these measures, the Turkish government hopes to be able to stop the increase in coronavirus infections, which in recent days have exceeded the barrier of 3,000 daily cases. To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused nearly 12,000 deaths in the country.