Istanbul, cleaning in Sultanahmet due to coronavirus

Turkey bans entry of foreigners into the country until April 30th

The measure prohibits the entry of foreign citizens in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus by imported cases. Cyprus has declared a curfew to prevent people from going out.

Turkey‘s parliament has approved extending the ban on entry of foreigners into the country to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through the arrival of imported cases from abroad, the office of the president of the Turkish National Assembly (TBMM) announced on Tuesday.

“The ban on (entry of foreign) visitors has been extended to cover the period from April 1st to April 30th,” said a statement from the parliament president, which last week already approved delaying the centennial celebrations of the foundation of the National Assembly, which was suposed to take place on April 23th.

Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced new and stricter measures in Turkey to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the country, including the suspension of all flights abroad, after it had previously closed the maritime and land borders with Europe. Turkey accumulates 10,827 cases of coronavirus detected, while the number of deaths is 168.

Cyprus decrees curfew

On the other hand, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC, for its acronym in Turkish), with strong political and economic ties to Ankara, has enacted a curfew to curb COVID-19 infections that starts from this March 31st, and that it will prohibit all citizens from going outside between 21:00 and 6:00. The KKTC has registered about 70 cases of the disease.

Initially, the measure will remain in effect until April 5th, although the authorities do not rule out prolonging it. “Despite our repeated calls, people continue to take to the streets, especially at night. We have to act together to succeed, and I think we will,” said Turkish Cypriot Deputy Prime Minister and Head of Foreign Affairs, Kudret Özersay.

Özersay explained that because of the curfew, supermarkets will close at 8 pm; in addition, municipalities have been asked to investigate whether these establishments are taking the necessary hygiene measures against the coronavirus, and to impose severe fines on the contrary. “Home visits will no longer be possible,” he added.