Turkey plans phased easing of lockdown starting with schools


Schools will reopen in Turkey and hold in-person exams following a 17-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, Hürriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Non-essential shops and small businesses will reopen later, and then cafés and restaurants, provided they can offer outdoor seating and limit the tables available, according to Hürriyet.

Turkey is seeking to lower daily new cases of COVID-19 to about 100 per 100,000 people from around 400 currently, Hürriyet reported.

Even if this target is met, Turkey cannot fully reopen its economy, Hürriyet cited experts as saying. The best-case scenario for the short term will be to continue with weekend lockdowns and night-time curfews, they said.

On Monday, the fifth day of the tightened lockdown, the Turkish Health Ministry announced 24,733 new cases and 347 deaths. Turkey entered the lockdown with 37,674 new cases on April 29.

The lockdown measures, which cover the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al Fitr holiday, are due to be eased on May 17.

The government has closed all non-essential businesses, restaurants can only make deliveries and serve takeaways, and supermarkets are barred from selling non-essential goods. Manufacturing continues.



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