Turkey to drop curfews on July 1

Turkey to drop curfews on July 1

Amid a nationwide fall in COVID-19 cases, Turkey is set to end pandemic curfews as of July 1, the country's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday.

That same day Turkey will also lift intercity travel restrictions and restrictions on urban public transport, Erdogan said after a three-hour-plus Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara.

Thanks to the drop in virus cases, Turkey will return to normal working order in public institutions and organizations as of July 1, he told reporters.

The country on Monday reported 5,294 new coronavirus cases, including 429 symptomatic patients, as well as 51 new fatalities and 5,093 recoveries over the past 24 hours.

On June 1, Turkey eased some measures to fight the virus as the number of virus cases in the country dropped following a 17-day lockdown.

Erdogan also stressed how “vital” it is for everyone to get jabs when their turn comes in the country’s vaccination drive.

Urging the public to pay no heed to “manipulations,” he said they should instead listen to scientists and doctors about the need for vaccinations. "Our goal is to make everybody in our nation over age 18 eligible for vaccination within a few weeks," Anadolu Agency cited him as saying.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey is the country that has administered vaccine doses to the largest share of its population over the last week. "As of today, the number of vaccine doses that we administered approached 43 million," he said, adding that he wants to ensure that Turkey is one of the first countries to overcome the pandemic crisis with the least harm.

"Although the problems in the world will continue for a while due to new variants of the virus, Turkey will successfully leave this process behind," he vowed.

The Turkish leader also urged the public to continue to follow hygiene, mask, and social distancing rules and thanked healthcare workers and security forces for their efforts since the beginning of the pandemic.