Turkish restaurant reps urge double-vaccine mandate for entering businesses

Turkey's restaurant industry representatives suggested that a double-vaccine mandate be enforced for customers at restaurants and entertainment venues starting on Sep. 1. Meanwhile, BioNTech Co-Founder Uğur Şahin said that a third dose of the vaccine is not currently necessary for protection against the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Duvar English

Chair of Turkey's Tourism Restaurant Investors and Gastronomy Enterprises Association (TURYID), Kaya Demirer said on July 26 that receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine should become mandatory for customers of entertainment venues.

Demirer noted that the restaurant and entertainment industry suffered greatly during the pandemic, adding that vaccinations should no longer be a personal choice but instead a public responsibility.

Noting that the double-dose of the vaccinations decrease the spread of COVID-19 significantly, Demirer made two suggestions to maintain the industry's stability. 

Customers should be mandated to have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be able to enter businesses, Demirer suggested, adding that employers should be able to place workers on unpaid leave if they remain unvaccinated.

This rule should be announced on Aug. 1 for the implementation to be put into place by Sep. 1, Demirer noted.

"When there's an ample supply of vaccinations in our country, we want to tell our citizens who refrain from getting vaccinated, 'You guys stay at home this time, and we'll carry on with our work, our livelihoods and our social lives,'" the chairman said. 

The measure would protect industry workers' right to work and would help combat unemployment, Demirer added. 

'Third dose not needed for protection from Delta variant'

Meanwhile, co-Founder of COVID-19 vaccine producer BioNTech, Uğur Şahin said that a third dose of the treatment is not currently necessary for protection against the Delta variant of coronavirus.

Immunity in fully-vaccinated recipients wanes over time, but a booster shot is rarely required, Şahin said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on July 25. 

Turkey has started to offer booster shots to senior citizens and health officials who received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine as there have been concerns over the vaccine's efficacy especially over the contagious Delta variant. 

Turkey's new coronavirus cases jumped to 14,230 on July 25, more than triple the amount three weeks earlier and reaching levels last seen in the first half of May, according to the Health Ministry data that also showed a daily death toll of 55 people.

COVID-19 infections reached a daily peak above 60,000 during a wave in April-May. They then fell to a low of 4,418 on July 4 after a lockdown that ended in mid-May. Most of the final restrictions were lifted this month.