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Turkey eases strict lockdown, night and weekend curfews continue



Turkey emerged from its strictest nationwide shutdown on Monday that aimed at containing the Coronavirus, but weeknight and weekend curfews would still continue.

Many daytime restrictions were eased until June 1, residents had to stay at home from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. on weekdays as well as the entire weekend.

There were exceptions such as walking to the closest market to buy groceries.

The 17-day lock down was imposed after new daily infections crossed an all-time high of more than 60,000 in April, while the pace of vaccinations slowed.

The Interior Ministry said that shopping malls would be open on weekdays; restaurants and cafes were limited to only takeaway and delivery services.

Cinemas, sports facilities and bars remained shuttered. Schools continued with their remote learning schedules.

Inter-city travel was allowed, except during curfew hours. Foreign tourists, however, faced no restrictions.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that the aim was to reduce new daily cases to below 5,000 and also revive the crucial tourism industry.

More than 10,500 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours in the country of 84million.

The total number of cases had crossed 5.1 million since last March, while the death toll was 44,760.

Nearly 26million have received their first vaccine, but only 10.9 million were fully vaccinated with their mandated second jab.

European ruling football body, UEFA, had moved the May 29 Champions League final from Istanbul to Porto because of the COVID-19 surge.

Also, Formula One had called off the Turkish Grand Prix set for June.

Cecilia Odey

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