First phase of easing lockdown in Turkey starts today as shopping malls, barbershops and hairdressers open

Turkey is rolling out the first phase of relaxing the measures initially taken to control the spread of the coronavirus, as shopping malls, barbershops and hairdressers open today, Monday, May 11.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this month unveiled the details of the normalization plan designed to gradually roll back the containment measures.

Turkey would start easing them in May, June, and July as the spreading pace began slowing over the past two weeks, Erdoğan said on May 4.

Malls, barbershops, and some stores will be allowed to open on May 11 as long as they abide by normalization rules, he added.

In a statement released on May 9, the Interior Ministry detailed the precautions to be taken at shopping malls.

Accordingly, all shoppers are required to wear protective face masks, temperatures of visitors will be screened at the entrance and those who have a fever will be asked to go to a health institution.

Social distancing rule will be strictly observed, and shoppers will be asked to stay in malls at most three hours and not to walk in groups in venues. The number of shoppers will be limited to one person per 10 square meters.

As part of the easing, people over age 65 were allowed to go outside within walking distance of their houses from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. on May 10 for the first time in nearly two months.

Turkey introduced stay-home orders for those over the age of 65 on March 21 and the first curfew was declared on April 11-12 and was followed by subsequent ones in the past weeks.

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