Istanbul, coronavirus pandemic

Erdoğan announces new Ramadan restrictions to curb coronavirus

There will be a weekly curfew starting at 7 p.m., and travel between cities is prohibited. Turkey registered a record of coronavirus infections.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced yesterday a series of new measures that will be in force during the holy month of Ramadan, including a partial lockdown for the first two weeks to curb the worrying increase in infections, which has continued to break records since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the new measures announced on Tuesday, a daily curfew is imposed from today between 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. from Monday to Friday, and all public offices will close their doors at 4:00 p.m. In addition, travel between cities is prohibited except for emergencies, and people over 65 and those under 18 cannot use public transport.

In the public sector, pregnant women and women with children under 10 years of age, as well as all employees suffering from chronic diseases, will occupy administrative positions without attending the public, and private companies are encouraged to take similar measures. In education, all courses except in the early stages will begin online classes from Thursday, and will continue in this way until further notice.

Other measures announced but already known are the prohibition for restaurants and cafes to serve food except to take away; in hotels, it will only be possible to serve own clients staying in their rooms. Likewise, public places such as sports centres or wedding halls will remain closed at least until the end of Ramadan.

Erdoğan warned that these new restrictions during Ramadan to curb the coronavirus could be made even tougher if the contagion curve is not bent; a record number of cases was recorded in Turkey on Tuesday: 59,187 new positives in the last 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Meanwhile, 19.16 million Turks have received and at least one dose of the virus vaccine.