Controlled normalisation suspended, new COVID-19 restrictions reinstated

Available languages: TR

Based on the advice and recommendations of the Scientific Committee, the Presidential Cabinet led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey will extend COVID-19 restrictions from 29 April 2021.

On 26 April 2021, the Ministry of Internal Affairs published the Circular on Full Closure Restrictions ("Circular"), which sets out the details of the following restrictions that came into force in all provinces at 7pm on Thursday 29 April 2021:

A full curfew will be in effect until 5am on Monday 17 May 2021. However, in order to maintain the sustainability of production, manufacturing, supply chains, healthcare and agricultural services, the following facilities will be exempt from this curfew:

  • Public and private health care facilities, pharmacies, veterinary clinics, veterinary hospitals, as well as doctors and veterinarians working in such facilities;
  • Companies that manufacture, stock and sell medicines, medical devices, medical masks and disinfectants, and their employees;
  • Production and manufacturing facilities, construction companies and their employees;
  • National and international transport and logistics companies and their employees;
  • Hotels, accommodation providers and their employees;
  • Newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, internet media facilities, publishing houses and their staff;
  • Large plants and companies with strategic operations in the natural gas, electricity and oil sectors and their employees;
  • Companies that distribute freight, water, newspapers and propane bottles, and their employees;
  • Occupational health and safety officers and employees who need to be in the workplace to maintain safety;
  • (With a limited number of employees) Information processing centres and associated staff of institutions, organisations and companies that have a nationwide service network, especially banks;
  • Bank branches (to be open between 10am and 16pm with a limited number of staff);
  • Foreigners staying temporarily in Turkey as tourists;
  • Lawyers performing their judicial duties; and
  • Other admissible cases.

During curfew, markets, fruit sellers, butchers, dried fruit sellers and confectioners are open between 10am and 17pm.

Residents (may go to the nearest of these shops on condition that they do not use vehicles, except for the disabled). Chain shops will be closed on Sundays.

Food and beverage establishments such as restaurants, cafés, etc. and online food ordering will be open for delivery services only. These businesses can be open 24 hours until Thursday 13 May 2021. After that, they will be open until 1am. Bakeries may remain open during the curfew.

All shops, workplaces and/or offices that are not exempt from the restrictions will be closed and will not be able to serve customers in person, except through remote work.

The existence of reservations for hotels and lodging establishments shall not be considered as an exemption from these restrictions.

In addition, inter-provincial travel will be restricted during the curfew. Travel between cities is not allowed unless one of the following cases listed in the Circular applies:

  • Patients who are discharged from hospital and want to go back to their living area;
  • Patients who have doctor's appointments;
  • Persons travelling to funerals of first degree relatives or relatives of their spouse;
  • Persons who have been in a city for the last five (5) days and wish to return to their place of residence;
  • Participants in central examinations announced by the Centre for Selection and Placement (tr. ÖSYM);
  • Persons who have completed their military service and wish to return to their place of residence;
  • People with invitations to dated meetings, either from public or private institutions; and
  • Persons released from penal institutions.

Persons involved in any of the above compulsory cases must obtain a travel permit (seyahat izin belgesi) via the e-government system or the call centre (199) of the Ministry of the Interior.

Possession of a ticket for aeroplane, bus, etc. is not sufficient reason for exemption from the interprovincial travel ban.

Persons wishing to travel between cities by plane, bus, etc. must present their travel pertmit (tr. seyahat izin belgesi). Persons who do not have valid travel permit will not be issued tickets.

For more information on these new restrictions, please contact your regular CMS consultant or local CMS expert: Dr Döne Yalçın.