Turkey to shut down social spaces: Cafes, theaters, gyms vacated amid virus fears

  • 2 years   ago

Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday ordered all cafes, theaters, gyms and other similar social spaces to be closed beginning Tuesday in a bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.

According to the ministry’s order, all cafes, gyms, theaters, cinemas, performance centers, concert halls, wedding halls, music halls, beer halls, taverns, hookah lounges, internet cafes, all types of game centers, amusement parks, pools, Turkish baths, saunas and spas would be closed until further notice after 12 a.m. on Tuesday.

Shopping malls and restaurants will be able to operate normally as the order does not include such businesses.

The move came shortly after Turkey’s top religious authority, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), announced a nationwide ban on prayer gatherings, including Friday prayers, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The mosques, however, will remain open to people who want to perform daily prayers, Diyanet head Ali Erbaş said in a statement Monday.



Turkey on Sunday announced the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had risen to 18.

Of the 18 cases, seven were people who returned from European countries and three came from the U.S., Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

The minister urged all citizens to follow self-quarantine protocols if they suspect themselves of contracting the virus.