With Covid -19 case numbers falling thanks to a strict lockdown, Turkey has started to gradually lift restrictions as of Monday(May 17).
An Interior Ministry statement early Sunday said the gradual normalization will start at 5 a.m. local time on Monday and conclude at the same time on June 1.
Stating that a nightly curfew will run weekdays from 9 pm to 5 am while on weekends a full lockdown will be in place.
In a new directive, the ministry called the steps that apply from Monday to June 1 a “gradual normalization.”
Shopping malls will be able to reopen. Some businesses will remain closed, including gyms and cafes, but restaurants will be able to offer take away in addition to delivery. Preschools will resume in-person education but upper grades will continue remote learning.
Foreign tourists and workers with special permits are exempt.
Unvaccinated senior citizens over 65 will only be allowed to leave their homes between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. Intercity travel during curfews is subject to permission.
New infections and Covid-19 deaths exploded after Turkey lifted most restrictions in March, prompting the government to introduce a full lockdown at end of April. It was the strictest measure the government had taken since the beginning of the pandemic, following record new cases above 60,000 a day.
Health ministry statistics showed 10,174 new cases reported Monday and an overall confirmed death toll of 44,983.