Turkey to keep curfews as it enters "gradual normalization" period

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16 May 2021

Ankara will impose a weeknight curfew and implement a full lockdown on weekends that will start on Monday and last until the beginning of June as Turkey prepares to enter what it calls a "gradual normalization period," the Interior Ministry said Sunday, APA reports citing Daily Sabah.

The announcement by the ministry came as a 17-day total lockdown that came into effect last month was set to expire.

In a circular, the ministry said the government would keep imposing a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and a full lockdown would be in effect during weekends, which will begin at 9 p.m. on Fridays and end at 5 a.m. on Mondays.

Seniors aged 65 and above won't face any additional curfew hours if they have had both of their COVID-19 vaccine doses, but those who have not will only be allowed to out between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Calling it a "gradual normalization period," the ministry said the new measures will be implemented starting Monday and will remain in place until June 1.

Introduced during the total lockdown period, the ban on intercity travel will be eased, as well. People will be allowed to travel between cities by car only when the curfew is not in effect, but travel by bus or airplane will be allowed at all times.

Theaters, gyms, swimming pools and similar places will remain closed, while restaurants and cafes will be allowed to serve deliveries and take-away orders. The ministry allowed restaurants to serve deliveries until midnight, after when they will have to close up.

Shopping malls, meanwhile, will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during weekdays and will remain closed on weekends.

In a separate statement, the Education Ministry said all students except preschoolers will continue their education via remote learning until June 1.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED