On 1 March 2021, the Presidential Cabinet, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan updated Turkey's strategy in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing a new controlled normalisation process.
To this end, the Ministry of Internal Affairs published the Announcement on Controlled Normalisation Process of Fighting Against Coronavirus Outbreak (“Announcement”) on 2 March 2021, setting out the details.
According to the Announcement:
- Cities were divided into risk groups
Based on the criteria set by the Scientific Committee and the Ministry of Health, cities were classified into four (4) risk groups (i.e. low, medium, high and very high).
As a result, COVID-19 control measures at provincial level are now defined according to risk groups.
During the weekdays:
- A general curfew in Turkey is imposed from 21:00 to 05:00.
- In low and medium risk provinces, the curfew is lifted for persons aged 65 years and above and 20 years and below. The general restriction mentioned above also applies to these persons.
- In high-risk and very-high-risk provinces, people aged 65 and over are only allowed to go outdoors between 10:00 and 14:00, while people under 20 are only allowed to go outdoors between 14:00 and 18:00.
At the weekends:
- The weekend curfew is applied between 21:00 and 05:00 in low and medium risk provinces.
- In high and very high risk provinces, weekend curfew will be from Friday at 21:00 to Saturday at 05:00 and from Saturday at 21:00 to Monday at 05:00. In these provinces, there will be no curfew on Saturdays between 05:00 and 21:00.
Previously announced exceptions to the curfew remain valid.
Public working hours have been restored to normal throughout Turkey.
The local governments are entitled to set different start and end times if necessary.
Businesses such as restaurants, cafeterias, bakeries, country houses and tea gardens operating in low, medium and high risk provinces are allowed to operate at fifty percent (50%) capacity between 07:00 and 19:00 provided the HES code is used at the entrances. These establishments are only allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services between 19:00 and 21:00, while they are only allowed to offer delivery services from 21:00 to 24:00.
Such eateries in very high risk provinces are only allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services between 10:00 and 20:00, while they are only allowed to offer delivery services from 20:00 to midnight.
- General assemblies and meetings
In all provinces, with the exception of very high risk provinces, all activities involving the gathering of people, including general meetings of non-governmental organisations, professional organisations with public body status, trade groups, cooperatives and similar organisations, may be held with the participation of up to three hundred (300) persons, limited to one (1) person per eight square metres (8 sq m), provided that the local governments are notified in advance.
Wedding ceremonies may last up to one (1) hour, with up to one hundred (100) persons, limited to one (1) person per eight square metres (8 sq m) in low and medium risk provinces, and up to fifty (50) persons, limited to one (1) person per eight square metres (8 sq m) in high and very high risk provinces, provided that the local governments are informed in advance.
In low and medium risk areas, sports facilities such as swimming pools or football pitches are allowed to operate between 09:00 and 19:00, provided the HES code is used at the entrances and no sports spectators or other visitors are allowed.
For more information on the new restrictions against the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact your regular CMS source or local CMS expert: Dr. Döne Yalçın.