Turkey’s Interior Ministry has announced a new standardised fine of 900 liras ($131) to anyone found not wearing a face mask in certain provinces to stem the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The new regulation ends any confusion in penalty differences in regards to the mandatory face mask regulation in effect for all public outings across 48 provinces, Birgün newspaper reported on Sunday.
Another 33 provinces issued a compulsory mask requirement for certain establishments, such as supermarkets, shopping centres, restaurants and coffee shops.
The Interior Ministry announcement came as a spike in coronavirus infections in Turkey doubled to nearly 1,600 per day, after the Turkish government eased prevention measures earlier this month.
The Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed 1,192 new cases, bringing the country’s total to 187,685.
Turkey’s official coronavirus death toll increased by 22 to 4,950 since Saturday evening, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced in his daily Twitter update.
Over 1,410 people have recovered from the deadly virus during the same time span.
“Our patients in intensive care remain low despite an increase (in infections) in certain provinces,’’ Koca said. “Our recovered patients today outnumber our new infections by 320.’’
Koca repeated a call for continued adherence to protective measures to widen the gap between infected and recovered patients.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines on Sunday saw its first scheduled flight from the United States after an almost three-month hiatus due to a global trend of shutting down airports to reduce COVID-19 infection rates.
Two planes from Chicago and Washington – carrying a total of 555 passengers – arrived at Istanbul Airport on Sunday morning, T24 news site reported.
At the beginning of April, the Turkish government banned all international flights and greatly reduced domestic flights as part of emergency prevention measures.