Turkey to impose 4-day curfew over New Year period

President Erdoğan has said that Turkey will impose a four-day full lockdown beginning on Dec. 31 evening as part of measures against the novel coronavirus. Erdoğan said the stay-home order would begin at 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve and run through Jan. 4.

A man feeds birds during a two day curfew amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Istanbul on Dec 13.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that Turkey will impose a four-day curfew over the New Year period as part of measures against the novel coronavirus.

The curfew will start at 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 and continue through 5 a.m. on Jan. 4, Erdoğan said on Dec. 14, speaking after a cabinet meeting. 

"We have started to see the positive effects of the restrictions and other measures," Erdoğan said, adding this was thanks to the “public sacrifice.”

As part of measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19, Turkey applies a general curfew every weeknight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and lockdowns for the whole weekend. Weekend curfews run from 9 p.m. on Fridays to 5 a.m. on Mondays.

Some sectors, including production, supply, health, and agriculture, are exempt from the curfews.

Over the weekend, supermarkets, grocery stores, butchers, and dried fruit shops can open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bakeries can also open during the weekend curfew.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Dec. 14 confirmed 29,617 more COVID-19 infections, including 5,064 symptomatic patients. The total number of cases reached over 1.86 million with the latest additions, the Health Ministry data showed. The fatalities on the hand rose to 16,646, with 229 additions.

Urging the public to follow safety measures, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter: "Let's protect our loved ones by staying away from crowded and closed environments."

He went on to say that positive impact of restrictions will be clearer soon.