A weekend curfew is being reintroduced in most of Turkey's provinces, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday following a cabinet meeting.
According to the Turkish Ministry of Health, the number of detected cases of coronavirus infection on Saturday was 30,021, the highest number of cases since the beginning of December.
вЂњThe increase in coronavirus deaths has forced us to review existing safety measures. 58 provinces, where 80% of the country's population lives, have again become high-risk areas. They are again subject to a curfew for Saturday and Sunday. The existing curfew from 21.00 to 5.00 on weekdays is maintained throughout the country, вЂњ Erdogan told reporters in Ankara. The high-risk zone includes Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, and most other provinces of Turkey. Several provinces in the south-east of the country are in the low-and medium-risk zone.
Erdogan added that cafes and restaurants will be able to continue working with an occupancy rate of no more than 50% of visitors. During the curfew, they will only be able to work on takeaway.
On March 1, Erdogan announced the easing of anti-epidemic measures. The provinces of Turkey were divided into four categories: low, medium, high, and very high risk for the spread of coronavirus. In the first two categories, the curfew on weekends is completely lifted, in the first three, cafes and restaurants closed since the end of November are opened, they are allowed to receive customers from 7.00 to 19.00, provided that the occupancy rate does not exceed 50%.
In January, Turkey began vaccination against coronavirus with the CoronaVac vaccine, which is carried out in four stages. First, doctors, teachers, and the elderly received the vaccine. The number of the country's citizens who have been vaccinated has exceeded 14 million, with more than 6 million people receiving both doses of the vaccine.
Erdogan said that the authorities expect to complete vaccination against coronavirus in June, negotiations with Russia on the Sputnik V vaccine are continuing, and Turkey expects that its purchase will speed up the vaccination process.