ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey announced a further easing of its COVID-19 restrictions, including a relaxing of nighttime and weekend curfews, following a decline in the number of infections.
Following a Cabinet meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said restaurants and cafes — which were only able to open for delivery or take-away food — would be allowed to accept sitting customers until 9 p.m. as of Tuesday. Businesses such as gyms and amusement parks would also be allowed to reopen until 9 p.m.
The start of nighttime curfews was pushed back by an hour, to start at 10 p.m. Erdogan said Sunday curfews are to remain in place but people will be free to leave their houses on Saturdays. Civil servants will continue working remotely or in shifts in offices.
Meanwhile, the country’s education minister said primary and secondary school students would return to their classes for in-person education two times a week. In less populous towns and villages, schools would reopen full time.
Earlier this month, the number of daily COVID-19 infections dropped to below 10,000 for the first time since March 1, after reaching a record-high of more than 63,000 daily cases in mid-April.
On Monday, the Health Ministry posted 6,933 new cases and 122 deaths in the past 24 hours. The total death toll in the country stands at 47,527 with more than 5.2 million infections.