Published 29 Jun,2021 via Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey is set to enter a new normalization phase, relaxing most of the COVID-19-related restrictions, including nighttime curfews and nationwide lockdowns on Sundays.
The new episode in the county’s fight against the pandemic begins on July 1 after the government decided to remove the curbs amid the decline in daily virus cases and fast-track vaccinations.
In the normalization phase, all curfews, which had been in effect for months, will be fully scrapped, and there will be no intercity travel restrictions.
Cafes and restaurants are now allowed to serve people with no limitation on guest numbers in indoor and outdoor areas.
All workplaces and cinemas, which have suspended their activities as part of coronavirus measures, will reopen while restrictions and measures in accommodation facilities will end, although hygiene, mask, and social distancing rules must still be followed.
Concerts, festivals, and youth camps will also be allowed.
Moreover, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca signaled on June 29 that sports matches can be held with a limited number of fans and in line with COVID-19 safety measures.
In March 2020, Turkey barred fans from all nationwide sporting events to stem the virus’ spread. In the 2020-21 season, no fans were allowed to watch sports matches in the venues.
Responding to a question on whether the regulation which allows music only until midnight and that drew criticism from some quarters of the public will be also be lifted, Koca said: “We want to remove all restrictions. This ban will also be scrapped.”
Koca also informed that the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been detected in 26 provinces of the country.
“The total number of variant cases recorded in Turkey stands at 224, with 134 of them in Istanbul,” the minister said
The spread of the Delta variant seems to be on the rise in Turkey, he added, but the country is still free of the Delta Plus strain.
Almost a week ago, Koca said that the 134 cases of the Delta variant in 16 provinces had been registered.
In the face of a global surge of the Delta variant cases, Turkey this week halted flights from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
As far as the vaccination drive is concerned, the minister noted that 25 percent of the population aged 18 and above has already been vaccinated.
“The public is generally very responsive to calls for getting a shot. For instance, the measles vaccination rate in Turkey is 98 percent. Thus, I do not see any problems regarding hesitancy [toward the COVID-19 vaccination],” Koca said.
Turkey has enough vaccines to carry out the inoculations, he added.
To date, the country has administered more than 49 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Over 34 million people have received the first those while more than 15 million people have been given both doses.
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