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A Circular Outlining Gradual Normalization Measures Sent to 81 Provincial Governorates

A Circular Outlining Gradual Normalization Measures Sent to 81 Provincial Governorates

In order to manage the risk posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on public health and public order and to keep the spread of the disease under control, the rules and measures to be followed for all aspects of life, as well as the basic principles of cleanliness, mask-wearing, and social distancing when combating against the pandemic, are determined in line with the decisions taken in the Presidential Cabinet following the evaluation of the general course of the pandemic and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the Coronavirus Scientific Committee.

In this context, following the partial and full lockdown periods implemented between April 14th 2021 and May 17th 2021, when strict measures were taken in the fight against the pandemic, the “gradual normalization” process has been carried out in stages since May 17th 2021.

It is publicly known that during the gradual normalization period, a relative decrease/horizontal course has been observed during the pandemic thanks to both the prudent and self-sacrificing approach of our beloved Nation in compliance with the measures and the vaccination activities, which have recently demonstrated a serious acceleration.

On the other hand, it remains important to comply with the pandemic measures in order to maintain this success which we have achieved together, to keep the spread of the pandemic under control and to ensure permanent normalization with the accelerated vaccination activities.

In this framework, the developments in the course of the pandemic and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the Coronavirus Scientific Committee were discussed in the Presidential Cabinet dated 21 June 2021, convened under the chairmanship of our President; and it has been decided to implement the following measures under the third phase of the gradual normalization period as of Thursday, July 1st 2021.

  1. MEASURES ON CURFEW and RESTRICTIONS ON INTERCITY TRAVELS

The current curfew restrictions (including weekdays and weekends) within the framework of the principles specified in our circular dated 01.06.2021 and numbered 8878 will continue until 05:00 on Thursday, July 1st, 2021.

As of 05:00 on Thursday, July 1st, 2021, curfews and restrictions on intercity travel will be lifted, on weekdays and weekends, and there will be no curfew or restriction on intercity travels as of this date.

  1. BUSINESS ACTIVITIES 

Provided that all businesses respect all the measures and principles for their own business line/activity area determined in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide issued by the Ministry of Health, as well as the rules of cleanliness, mask-wearing, and social distancing, which are the basic principles of combating the pandemic;   

2.1- All businesses that are currently suspended will be able to operate again as of Thursday, July 1st 2021.

2.2- Movie theatres, which have been suspended in line with the industry’s demand, will begin accepting viewers as of Thursday, July 1st 2021.

2.3- As of Thursday, July 1st 2021, restrictions on the number of people who can sit at the same table at the same time in the indoor or outdoor areas of eating and drinking places will be lifted, provided that the social distancing rules between tables and/or chairs specified in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide are followed.

2.4- In workplaces where card games and tile-based games are played, such as coffee houses, the current restrictions on playing/making playing the games in question will be lifted as of Thursday, July 1st 2021 and playing/making playing games will be allowed.

2.5- As of Thursday, July 1st 2021, when the curfews will end, all businesses will be able to operate within the working hours determined by the relevant administration according to the field of activity stated in their licenses.

2.6- Businesses playing music (including live performances), which currently stop playing music at 22:00 in accommodation facilities and at 21:00 in other places, will be allowed to play music until 24:00 as of July 1st 2021 until a new decision is taken.

2.7- Provided that the rules and principles set forth in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide are followed, the additional restrictions imposed by our circulars on parks, gardens, camping areas, picnic/recreation areas will be lifted as of Thursday, July 1st 2021.

2.8- Due to the posing serious risk of the spread of the disease, the activities of workplaces serving hookah (such as hookah lounges/cafes) will continue to be suspended until a new decision is taken, and hookah will not be served in any workplace, including accommodation facilities.

  1. MEETINGS/EVENTS AND WEDDING CEREMONIES

Provided that the rules and principles determined for each event/activity in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide issued by the Ministry of Health and the rules cleanliness, mask-wearing, and social distancing are followed; 

3.1- The rule of allocating a minimum of 4 m² for outdoor activities and 6 m² for indoor activities, which is still valid for all activities of NGOs, trade unions, public institutions, professional organizations, cooperatives and unions, including the general assembly meetings, and all kinds of meetings, demonstrations or marches, will continue to be implemented the same way.

3.2- In wedding ceremonies;

– Food and beverage may be served.

– Playing music, including live performances, will be possible until 24.00.

– In line with the provision in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide which says, “Dances or performances including the traditional folk dance ‘halay’ during the wedding ceremonies where social distance cannot be maintained shall be forbidden“, dances and performances in wedding ceremonies will be allowed only in a way that they do not violate the physical distance rule, until a new recommendation is released by the Ministry of Health.

– There will be no limit on the guest number in wedding ceremonies (provided that a minimum of 6 m² per person is allocated, which rule is still applied for indoor events).

– Country weddings will be allowed as of Thursday, July 1st 2021, and whether weddings to be held on streets (in provinces, districts, and towns) will be allowed as of the specified date which will be decided by the Provincial/District Hygiene Boards.

– Events such as circumcision, engagement and henna ceremonies will be allowed after July 1st 2021, as previously announced.

3.3- Events such as concerts, festivals, youth camps will be allowed, provided that a minimum 4 m² for outdoor events and 6 m² for indoor events is allocated per person, and the rules and principles specified in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide and the principles of cleanliness, mask-wearing, and social distancing are followed.

  1. MEASURES ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION 

Provided that the rules and principles specified in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide and the principles of cleanliness, mask-wearing, and social distancing are followed;

4.1- Restrictions on the number of passengers/seat capacity for intracity and intercity modes of public transport will be lifted as of Thursday, 1 July 2021.

4.2- Restrictions on citizens aged 65 and over and young people/children aged 18 and below for using the intracity modes of public transport will be lifted on Thursday, 1 July 2021.

  1. MEASURES ON ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES

5.1- Provided that the rules and principles specified in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide and the principles of cleanliness, mask-wearing, and social distancing are followed, implementation of restrictions and measures on accommodation facilities will be lifted.

5.2- For outdoor and indoor activities and events that will be held within the accommodation facilities, it will be ensured that the physical distance rule as well as other procedures and principles in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide, according to the field of activity, will be respected.

5.3- Businesses serving inside the accommodation facilities will take any measure to prevent concentration of the guests and to implement the physical distance rules.

  1. WORKING HOURS FOR PUBLIC OFFICES

6.1- The current working hours of 10.00 – 16.00 will be ended and the regular working hours will be returned as of Thursday, July 1st 2021, provided that the basic procedures and principles will be determined in the Presidential Circular.  For public offices, the daily working hours and lunch time will be determined by the governors according to the characteristics of the regions and the service.

  1. MEASURES TO BE IMPLEMENTED ON BORDER CHECK POINTS

7.1- The following changes will be implemented in the regulations introduced with our circular dated 31.05.2021 and numbered 8832 regarding the measures to be applied at the border gates when entering our country;

– Mandatory quarantine for people who came to our country from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and those who are understood to have been in these countries in the last 14 days will be terminated, and the PCR test report with a negative result to be submitted maximum 72 hours before entering our country will be deemed sufficient.

– Mandatory quarantine for people who came to our country from Afghanistan and Pakistan will be reduced to 10 days and if the PCR test comes negative on the 7th day of the quarantine, then the mandatory quarantine will be ended. If the said PCR test comes in positive, then the COVID-19 guide of the Ministry of Health will be applied.

– People who went under mandatory quarantine in our country will be taken to the dormitory facilities determined by the governorates or to the accommodation facilities serving as quarantine hotel. The procedures and principles regarding the accommodation fees of the quarantine hotels, the transfer fees from and to the border check points, etc. will be determined and announced by the Governorships.

7.2- For citizens who fail to submit a negative PCR test report at the entrance to our border check points which is taken maximum 72 hours before the entry will be allowed to go to their residence after applying PCR or rapid antigen test at the border check points, and those with positive test results will be isolated in their residences.

  1. GENERAL CONSİDERATIONS 

8.1- Provincial Governorates and District Governorates will focus on organising briefing activities for reminding the relevant workplace officials and employees of the measures, procedures and principles determined separately for each business line/activity area in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide issued by the Ministry of Health.

8.2- Within the framework of the measures, procedures and principles determined in both the relevant Circulars of our Ministry and in the Pandemic Management and Working Guide issued by the Ministry of Health; intensified inspections will be carried out in the upcoming months under the coordination of our Provincial Governors and District Governors, in which the law enforcement officers participate with maximum capacity (reinforced by the personnel/officers of other institutions and organizations).

8.3- In all kinds of inspection activities to be carried out, a guiding approach will be adopted by public officers who will kindly invite business owners/employees and our citizens to abide by the rules/behave responsibly, and in case of abusive attitudes and behaviours such as insistence on violations of the rules, repetition of violation of the rules, and fundamental violation of the rules, they will not abstain from taking the necessary administrative/judicial actions.

In line with the principles stated above and in accordance with Articles 27 and 72 of the General Public Health Law, the decisions of the Provincial/District Public Health Boards will be taken promptly, no disruption will be caused in practice and no aggrievement will be allowed.

Süleyman SOYLU 

Minister

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