Turkey imposes partial lockdown for first half of Ramadan as Covid-19 cases surge
"The recent rise in the number of infections and deaths, especially in big cities, has forced us to tighten up measures once again," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The weekday curfew is set to be extended, travelling between cities will be banned excluding urgent cases, while residents below 18 and over 65 will be banned from public transport, he added.
Cafes and restaurants will only provide delivery and takeaway services. Indoor activity venues such as wedding halls, sports centres and game halls will close, while most students will return to distance learning.
Weekend curfews are set to continue in high-risk cities.
Erdogan added that flexible working hours will be introduced by the government for public servants, and the private sector will also be encouraged to do the same.
The measures will begin on Wednesday evening and continue for the first two weeks of Ramadan, Erdogan explained.
He added that the restrictions could be tightened further in the second half of Ramadan if cases do not go down.
Turkey recorded 59,187 new cases on Tuesday, the highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic, its health ministry said.
The death toll from Covid-19 in Turkey rose by 273 to 34,455 with 3,962,760 cases recorded.
Turkey started mass vaccination against Covid-19 on January 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine. More than 11,479,000 residents have been vaccinated.