Turkish President Erdogan announced the lifting of weekend lockdowns in low- and medium-risk cities and limiting restrictions to just Sundays in high- and very high-risk cities.

Streets remain nearly empty after a general curfew imposed weekend-long within new measures against a second wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in Ankara, Turkey on February 13, 2021.
Streets remain nearly empty after a general curfew imposed weekend-long within new measures against a second wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in Ankara, Turkey on February 13, 2021. (AA)

Turkey has announced it is lifting weekend lockdowns in low- and medium-risk cities and limiting the restrictions to just Sundays in high- and very high-risk areas as it starts a "controlled normalisation" of coronavirus measures, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. 

Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul, was categorised as high risk, while the capital Ankara was in the medium-risk category.

President Erdogan said in a press conference on Monday evening that the list of measures would be updated every two weeks on a province-by-province basis.

Turkey's Communications Director, Fahrettin Altun, posted on Twitter the major decisions taken regarding the new coronavirus measures discussed in the last cabinet meeting saying that the goal is to complete the "controlled normalisation" process in the country as soon as possible. 

Curfew lifted in many provinces

Altun also tweeted that curfews will be completely lifted in low- and medium-risk provinces but will remain in place on Sunday for a while in high and very high-risk provinces. 

The country's nationwide curfew from 9pm to 5am will continue, Erdogan added. 

Erdogan also said that all preschool education institutions across Turkey, as well as elementary schools and grades 8 and 12, will resume in-person classes. 

He also mentioned that education will begin in low and medium-risk provinces, in addition to other levels including secondary schools and high schools. 

"Face-to-face education will start in low- and medium-risk provinces of Turkey, including in middle and high schools," he added. 

All pre-school education institutions across Turkey, elementary schools, grades 8 through 12 to resume in-person classes,

President Erdogan

Different measures from one city to another

Businesses such as restaurants and cafes will be open at 50 percent capacity from 7am to 7pm, except in very high-risk provinces, the president announced. 

Altun mentioned that employees will return to normal working hours across the country and that governorates would make different arrangements if needed.

Weddings back with limited guests

Weddings and ceremonies can be held on the condition of not exceeding 100 people in low- and medium-risk provinces, not exceeding 50 people in high-risk areas and not exceeding one hour.  General assemblies of non-governmental organisations, professional associations, cooperatives and similar organisations in low-, medium- and high-risk provinces can run but not to exceed 300 people.

Altun added that the implementation of other measures will be determined by the Provincial Hygiene Committees under the Governorates. 

As of Monday, Turkey registered a total of 28,638 deaths from Covid-19, while over 2.57 million people have recovered from the disease. There have been over 2.7 million confirmed cases in the country. 

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed more than 2.53 million lives in 192 countries and regions. 

Over 114.2 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now over 64.51 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University. 

READ MORE: Turkey imposes partial curfew to fight coronavirus surge

Source: TRTWorld and agencies