Istanbul, public transport during the coronavirus

New restrictions in Turkey due to increase in coronavirus infections

New measures to curb the increase in coronavirus cases affect coffee shops and restaurants, and ban standing passengers on buses.

The government of Turkey announced new measures and restrictions that will come into effect throughout the country in the face of the increase in new infections from coronavirus, which has continued to exceed that of recovered patients for several weeks: measures that affect restaurants and restaurants and public transport, considered new sources of contagion during the pandemic.

“In all (Turkey) provinces, standing passengers will not be allowed to travel on public transport,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced yesterday after a 4-hour meeting of his cabinet of ministers at the Ankara presidential palace, where the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic was addressed.

Erdoğan added that catering establishments, including cafes and restaurants, will be subjected to new and more inspection measures, while regarding the opening of schools for the new school year “we will continue education with a system in which we will combine both face-to-face and distance education, taking into account the situation of the pandemic” and the preferences of each family, he said.

“Thanks to the country’s powerful health infrastructure and the measures taken, Turkey is in a good position in terms of fighting the virus. However, the current situation remains unacceptable,” Erdoğan warned referring to the increase in infections – around the 1,500 daily – , once again urging citizens to comply with hygiene measures, social distance and use of a mask.

Government extends wage subsidy and veto on layoffs

Last Friday the Turkish president extended by decree for another two months – until mid-November – the ban on companies from making layoffs, a measure that came into force in April initially for 3 months to mitigate the effects of the economic stoppage caused by the pandemic. In fact, in July the Turkish parliament authorised the President of the Republic to extend the measure until July 2021.

In addition, last week the Turkish government extended for another two months the temporary salary subsidy for those employees who have seen their working hours cut due to the economic crisis because of the coronavirus, and that allows these workers to receive compensation from the State of up to 60% of their original salary. The latest employment data in Turkey places the unemployment rate in the country at around 13% of the workforce.