Turkey enters "new normal" of lifting anti-coronavirus restrictions

XINHUA 發布於 06月01日15:34

A staff member does preparation work for reopening a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 31, 2020. (Xinhua/Yasin Akgul)

Turkey on Monday lifted a series of bans imposed to curb the #COVID19 pandemic, as the government has announced a success in containing the deadly virus, with "new normal" of lifting anti-coronavirus restrictions.

ANKARA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Turkey on Monday lifted a series of bans that were imposed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a normalization plan, as the government has announced a success in containing the deadly virus.

Restrictions on intercity travels are lifted and restaurants, cafes, parks, beaches, swimming pools, hot springs, sports facilities, archaeological sites, libraries, youth centers, camps and museums are allowed to reopen, as the coronavirus outbreak in Turkey has been kept down in the past few weeks.

Restaurants and cafes reopened on Monday with strict hygiene rules, setting tables 1.5 meters apart from each other, while customers are served with disposable tableware, with the wearing of masks as a must for both customers and staff.

People visit the Grand Bazaar which has reopened in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Osman Orsal)

Trains, ships and airlines will also start carrying passengers between provinces under the precautions.

Turkey restarted its first mass Friday prayers last week and gradually reopens mosques.

Daycare centers and kindergartens are also reopening after almost three months of closure. Most of the labor force in the country have resumed field or office work, along with all civil servants who were working remotely on administrative leave.

It is worth noting that the Turkish military resumed discharges and conscripts on Sunday.

However, the curfew will remain for those aged over 65 if they do not run a business, but they have been able to travel between provinces upon permissions since last week.

Young people and children under 18 will only be free to go out on Wednesdays and Fridays between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time.

The interior ministry has imposed two-day curfews over the weekends since April and the government is expected to ease the weekend lockdowns as well.

Women wearing masks are seen on a bench at a park in Ankara, Turkey, on May 31, 2020. (Xinhua/Mustafa Kaya)

Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan identified the current phase as "new normal," but warned that the government could reintroduce the restrictions in case of a negative course of the pandemic.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca recently said the outbreak in Turkey was under control.

Koca on Sunday confirmed 839 new COVID-19 cases, noting the increase is within predictable margins.

Turkey reported the first COVID-19 case in the country on March 11, and a total of 163,942 so far with a death toll of 4,540.

A staff member checks the body temperature of a visitor at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Osman Orsal)

According to Koca, the occupancy rate in Turkey's intensive care facilities are very low, with the number of patients in intensive care units decreasing each day.

Turkey and China have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. On April 10, Chinese doctors and medical experts held a video conference with Turkish counterparts to share China's experiences in treating coronavirus patients, protecting medical workers, and controlling the spread of the virus.