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Malls reopen in Turkey after nearly 2-month closure

Malls reopen in Turkey after nearly 2-month closure

As Turkey eases measures against the coronavirus amid improving numbers, shopping malls Monday reopen their doors after a nearly two-month closure, and with stepped-up hygiene.

The move comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week announced that the country was starting to reduce COVID-19 containment measures and outlined the country’s steps to start post-coronavirus normalization.

Shopping malls, ordered closed on March 21 to stem the spread of COVID-19, reopen two weeks before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which normally spurs a spike in shopping.

Ahead of the reopening, the Council of Shopping Centers said that personnel and customers should wear masks and continue to observe social distancing rules in all malls.

Mall administrators should also use thermometers, decrease elevator capacities or limit usage, provide disinfectants and take measures to prevent crowds, the group said in a press release.

Shops are also being told to encourage contactless payment methods.

Istanbul Shopping Mall Managing Director Kemal Baştürk said centers will gradually start their operations and will serve guests between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

While some of the customers will normalize more rapidly, Baştürk said it would take some time to overcome the uneasy process and would avoid closed environments for some time.

He also noted that temperatures would be measured at entrances and mask controls will be made.