ISTANBUL — Turkey’s interior ministry has banned smoking in public places across the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a statement late Wednesday, the ministry said smoking would be banned in busy streets, bus stops and public squares when necessary.
It said the nationwide mask mandate in public spaces must be followed at all times. It said smokers were routinely violating the mask rule, which has been in effect for several months.
The ministry also said provinces can decide to impose curfews on people older than 65 according to increases in the number of critical patients. The governors of Istanbul and Ankara have already reintroduced measures this week, allowing senior citizens to leave their homes only between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Turkey has seen a spike in infections since lifting partial lockdowns and reopening businesses in late May.