Supermarkets in Turkey to sell only essential goods

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Supermarkets in Turkey will be allowed to sell only essential items starting May 7, the country’s Interior Ministry has said, noting that the move aims to avoid crowds at those venues.

According to the directive the ministry sent to the offices of governors in the country’s 81 provinces, only essential food and hygiene products as well as pet food will be offered to customers during the lockdown.

The directive reminded that alcohol sale is already banned and added that from May 7, supermarkets would not be allowed to sell other consumer products, such as electronic goods, toys, stationery materials, clothing, home textile and glassware.

The decision, which was taken following consultations with the relevant ministries, public authorities, business associations and representatives from the concerned sector, aims to prevent crowds at supermarkets, the ministry said.

All businesses, except for grocery stores, bakeries, butchers as well as fruit and vegetable sellers, have been closed during the country’s 17-day lockdown, which began on April 29. These venues serve customers from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This is a dynamic process. New needs necessitate new measures,” Interior Ministry spokesperson İsmail Çataklı said yesterday, noting that the restrictions in the directive did not apply to online sales.

Çataklı noted that supermarkets would continue to sell cigarettes.

Authorities conducted nearly 11.5 million inspections in April alone to see if anti-virus restrictions were being observed, the official also said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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