President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on March 1 that Turkey will lift weekend lockdowns in low and medium-risk cities and limit the restrictions to just Sundays in high and very high-risk cities as it starts a “controlled normalization” of coronavirus measures.
Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Erdoğan said Turkey’s nationwide curfew for the weekdays, from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m., will continue.
The president also said that face-to-face education will also start in low and medium-risk provinces, including middle and high schools.
All pre-school education institutions across Turkey – elementary schools, grades 8 through 12 – to resume in-person classes, he added.
Erdoğan said the list of measures would be updated every two weeks on a province-by-province basis.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared a map of Turkey from his Twitter account, categorizing the provinces per their risk for the spread of COVID-19.
Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul, was categorized as high risk, while the capital Ankara was in the medium-risk category.
Turkey issues COVID-19 guidelines based on risk groups
Later on, Turkey’s Interior Ministry issued a public notice on March 2 on coronavirus measures to be taken according to risk groups.
According to the notice sent to all 81 of the country’s provinces, the rules to be followed and coronavirus measures to be taken on a provincial basis will be determined by the governorships.
The country’s nationwide curfew from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. on weekdays will continue.
On weekends in low- and medium-risk provinces, the curfew will be implemented between 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m., just like during the week.
In high-risk and very high-risk provinces, a curfew will be implemented between 9.00 p.m. on Friday and 5.00 a.m. on Saturday and starting from 9.00 p.m. on Saturday and covering all of Sunday, ending at 5.00 a.m. on Monday. Curfews will be lifted in these provinces on Saturday between 5.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m.
In low- and medium-risk provinces, curfew restrictions will be lifted for people aged 65 and above as well as under 20.
In high-risk and very high-risk provinces, the permitted time period to go out for those aged 65 and over and under 20 will be increased from three hours to four hours. Persons aged 65 and over will be able to go out between 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 pm and under 20 between 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 pm.
All restaurants will request HES Code
Businesses such as restaurants and cafes will be open with 50% capacity from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. except in very high-risk provinces and will request the country’s coronavirus contact tracing HES code. Cafes and restaurants will offer only takeaway and delivery services between 7.00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m. while offering only delivery services from 9.00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m.
In high-risk and very high-risk provinces, restaurants and cafes will offer takeaway and delivery service between 10.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m. and offer only delivery services from 8.00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m.
In low- and medium-risk provinces, astro pitches and swimming pools will be able to operate between 9.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., provided that the HES code is used at the entrances and no spectators, companions, or guests are allowed.
Facilities such as astro pitches and swimming pool will remain closed until a new decision in high-risk and very high-risk provinces.
The categorization of provinces as being low, medium, high, or very high risk is based on infection rates and the vaccination process, which began on Jan. 14.
Hurriyet Daily News