Turkey, metro travellers, during coronavirus

New rules about how to use masks in Istanbul and Ankara

Starting this Monday, the use of masks by passengers and drivers is mandatory on public transport, but also on private vehicles, including passenger cars.

The two largest cities in Turkey, Istanbul and the country’s capital, Ankara, have started this Monday after the 48 hours curfew decreed over the weekend with new measures that regulate the use of masks in public and private transport to stop coronavirus infections.

As part of the new measures approved by the Istanbul Governor’s Office, passengers of public transport and drivers must compulsorily wear face protection masks during the journey, not allowing passengers access to the vehicle if they do not wear a mask. In some cases drivers are also wearing glasses and even protective suits.

The use of a mask will be compulsory in public transport means such as metro, bus or tram, but also in taxis and minibuses; in addition, the occupants of any commercial or private vehicle (including passenger cars) in which there are two or more occupants, are also required to wear a mask.

To guarantee compliance with social distancing regulations, urban public transport vehicles can only operate at 50% of their capacity, with only half of the seats available and always those on the window side, to leave the aisle as separation; in addition, the number of standing passengers may not exceed that of seated travellers. Disinfectant liquid or sanitiser gel dispensers will also be installed in all public transport vehicles and at stops.

Similar rules in Ankara against COVID-19

In Ankara, the second largest city in the country by population after Istanbul, very similar regulations have been introduced and new schedules have been announced for the metro service, which will operate every 7 minutes between 7 and 9:30 in the morning and between 16:00 and 20:30 in the afternoon; outside these hours, convoys will circulate every 15 minutes.

As in Istanbul, from this Monday the travelers of the Ankara public transport system and drivers will have to wear masks, imposing fines on those who do not comply with the rule; drivers and passengers of private vehicles will also be required to do so. Likewise, public transport will only operate at medium capacity and hand sanitiser gel dispensers will be installed in vehicles and stops.