Turkey is temporarily closing all cafes, wedding venues, cinemas, theaters, restaurants, concert halls, performance centers, gyms, internet cafes and indoor playgrounds as of 12.01 a.m. on March 17 to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus, the Interior Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry also said that all gatherings and activities by non-governmental organizations will be postponed.
All funeral gatherings traditionally held at homes are also banned to simulate more social distancing, the ministry said.
The ministry did not say how long the suspension would last.
The statement came after Turkey identified 12 new cases of the coronavirus on March 16, bringing the total tally to 18.
Separately, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on March 17 that all non-emergency court hearings will be delayed.
Turkey’s Education Ministry suspended primary and secondary education for one week starting on March 16, with the rest of the term unknown. Universities were shut down for three weeks starting the same day.
The Interior Ministry shut down bars and night clubs, officially dubbed “public rest and entertainment venues,” for an unknown period on March 15.