- Özgür Töre
Today, April 30, Turkey started a nationwide full lockdown to curb a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths before the start of travel and tourism season on June 1st.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday a full lockdown starting from Thursday from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. and lasting until May 17.
As part of the new measures, during the lockdown, all businesses will be closed with certain exceptions. Cafes and restaurants will only offer delivery services, while chain supermarkets will be closed on Sundays. Turks are not allowed to travel within their city limits either. They are only allowed to walk nearest süpermarket for their purchases. Turkey has also banned the sale of alcohol nationwide during the lockdown.
All intercity travel will be subject to permission, whereas public transport will operate at 50% capacity, he added. Accommodation reservations do not provide an exception.
The lockdown will cover the remainder of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as well as three days of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
People have left Turkey’s largest cities; such as Istanbul and Ankara to spend the country’s long full lockdown in their hometowns or at hotels and resorts. Several hotels introduced long-stay promotions that will cover the full lockdown period.
Many people traveled to popular holiday destinations, such as Çeşme, Bodrum and Marmaris. And stock up food and beverages especially alcoholic drinks before the start of the lockdown.
The government decided to impose those stricter rules nationwide as the daily number of coronavirus cases hit record numbers, hovering at around 60,000.
Since Turkey began its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Jan. 14, it has administered over 22.6 million coronavirus vaccine jabs.