Turkey, closing restaurants because of the pandemic

Turkey closes cafes and restaurants at 10 p.m. to curb coronavirus

Turkish President Erdoğan announced new measures to curb increase in coronavirus infections in Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Tuesday new measures to slow the advance of the coronavirus pandemic in Turkey, where the rate of daily infections has doubled in a month, and which include the mandatory closure of cafes, restaurants, and other business and public spaces from 10 at night.

As explained by the Turkish president – who claimed that Turkey will have a vaccine against COVID-19 available in spring – in a press conference from Ankara, after a meeting with his cabinet of ministers in the presidential palace, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, weddings venues, cinemas, theatres, swimming pools, concert halls and other similar public places must close after 10 pm.

Erdoğan clarified, however, that cafes and restaurants will be able to continue serving food to take away or for delivery at home after 10 pm; he also announced economic incentives for companies to introduce alternative shifts for their employees – a measure that the Ministry of Health has been asking for for some time – to avoid crowds on public transport, currently considered the main source of coronavirus infections.

The Turkish president reiterated, however, that the situation of the pandemic in Turkey is not yet critical, despite the fact that the Ministry of Health warned last week that the situation is very worrying in several districts of Istanbul, which accumulates 40% of all the coronavirus infections in Turkey. Yesterday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca asked Istanbul residents not to leave the province to avoid spreading the virus.

Shortly after Erdoğan announced the closure of cafes and restaurants, the most recent data on the coronavirus in Turkey was released, indicating that 2,343 new infections and another 79 deaths from COVID-19 were registered in the last 24 hours. Since the start of the pandemic in March, 382,118 infections have been detected in the country and 10,481 people have died from the new SARS-CoV-2 virus.