Turkey: Restrictions to stem the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are expanded

Available languages: TR

As explained in our previous E-Alert on Turkey's restrictions against the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, on 20 November 2020, Turkey has again started to implement social measures and restrictions.

Accordingly, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on 30 November 2020 that the restrictions would be expanded due to the increased risk and inadequacy of the previously announced restrictions.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs issued the Circular on New Restrictions and Measures Against Coronavirus Outbreak dated 1 December 2020, and the Circular on New Restrictions on Eighty-One (81) Provinces dated 15 December 2020, outlining the details of the restrictions and the additional measures to prevent the risk of infection due to the New Year celebrations.

Accordingly, the following new restrictions have entered into force in all provinces on Tuesday 1 December 2020:

  • A general curfew will be enforced for all residents in Turkey on:
    • weeknights from 21.00 to 05.00 the following day, valid from Monday to Friday; and
    • weekends from 21.00 on Friday to 05.00 Monday;
  • An exceptional curfew will apply to all residents in Turkey during the New Year celebrations between 21.00 on 31 December 2020 until 05.00 on 4 January 2021.
  • During the weekend curfew, markets, grocery shops, fruit/vegetable sellers, butchers, dried nuts and fruits sellers and fisheries will be open between 10.00 and 5.00; bakeries and bread makers will be open without time limit. Persons between the ages of twenty (20) and sixty-five (65) can only go to the nearest shops mentioned to meet their needs without using a vehicle.
  • During curfews, interprovincial travel is only allowed in the following cases:
    • Patients who are discharged from a hospital and wish to go back to their residences;
    • Patients who have a doctor appointment;
    • Persons travelling to attend the funeral of their own first-degree relative or such relative of their spouse;
    • Persons who have been in a city for the past five (5) days and wish to return to their residence;
    • Lawyers who are performing their judicial duties; and
    • Other permitted cases.
  • During the curfew, restaurants will only offer delivery services;
  • The use of public transportation of citizens aged more than sixty-five (65) or less than twenty (20) will be restricted;
  • Working hours of public institutions will be between 10.00 and 16.00;
  • Funerals and weddings will be conducted with a maximum of thirty (30) attendants;
  • HES codes will be required to enter shopping malls;
  • Places such as Turkish baths, saunas, massage salons, swimming pools, and amusement parks will suspend their activities; and
  • Activities of kindergartens and similar educational institutions will be suspended.

In order to minimise the impact of the restrictions on daily life, in addition to those listed in our E-Alert of 25 November, the following businesses and employees are exempt from the curfews:

  • Members and employees of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey;
  • Persons on duty to maintain public order and security;
  • Lawyers and notaries;
  • Companies providing the service of cargo, water distribution, newspaper distribution, and propane cylinder; and
  • IT staff of institutions with an extensive service network, particularly banks.

For further information on the new restrictions against Coronavirus outbreak, contact your regular CMS consultant or local CMS expert: Dr. Döne Yalçın.