Easing or tightening the restrictions will take place after province-based measures become more concrete, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters after the president unveiled the plans for moving to the normalization phase on Feb. 17.
Categorizing the provinces by risks they are exposed to will show where a particular province stands and what steps will be taken towards easing or tightening the curbs, Koca said.
The map showing which province falls under which category will be updated on a weekly basis, while the map indicating what measures are taken in provinces will be revised fortnightly, according to the minister.
The map will show how the number of virus cases are changing, such as the provinces seeing the highest increase and those experiencing the sharpest decline, Koca explained.
The president noted that Turkey has made the necessary contacts to [acquire more] vaccines that “we will need in the first place.”
Erdoğan said he believed March would be a month in which Turkey makes great advancements in terms of vaccination, but urged the public to continue adhering to the virus measures.
“The crucial point is to make sure that the number of cases keeps declining in all provinces. Turkey is handling this global crisis very successfully.”
The government will announce in the coming days the steps to be taken to provide relief to restaurants and cafes, which were forced to close due to the pandemic, he also said.
As the Health Ministry will provide province-based data, the local authorities after March 1 will be able to decide whether restaurants and cafes should reopen or not depending on the course of the outbreak in their provinces.
Koca also told reporters that the virus variants had been detected in 37 provinces in Turkey.
“Both the number of provinces with the variants and the variant infection rate have been on the rise,” he said.
The minister dismissed the suggestions that the recent rise in the number of infections in the Black Sea province is related to the virus variant.
“A number of factors are at play that might trigger the spike in the cases in this region, such as people’s mobility or inspections conducted there,” he added.
He noted that people in this region gather for wedding ceremonies and funerals.
Hurriyet Daily News