The Turkish government announced on Thursday, June 4, that they would resume flights to 15 countries from Wednesday, June 10, with a further 25 countries to be added by the end of the month. Flights will initially be resumed to destinations in Northern Cyprus, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar and Greece on June 10, with 17 more routes, including those to Germany, Austria, Croatia, and Singapore, being added on June 15. Flights to a further 16 countries will then be added on June 20, 22, and 25. The move follows the signing of reciprocal flight agreements with Northern Cyprus, Austria, Lithuania, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Albania, Belarus, the United Arab Emirates, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, and Italy last week.
Turkey has eased some of its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions in recent weeks, resuming domestic commercial flights on June 1. Flights from Istanbul to major provinces including Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, and Trabzon were the first to be reinstated, with flights gradually resuming to other cities as COVID-19 cases decrease.
A weekend curfew for June 6 and 7 had initially been announced in the provinces of Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Balikesir, Bursa, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Manisa, Sakarya, Samsun, Van, and Zonguldak on Thursday, June 4, following an increase in COVID-19 cases in the regions. However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the temporary restrictions had been cancelled due to the strong negative public reaction against the move and the potential economic cost of an extended lockdown.
The government began lifting restrictions on intercity travel and other COVID-19 measures in Turkey on June 1, allowing restaurants, cafes, parks, sports facilities, and other public spaces to reopen. Movement restrictions will remain in place for those over 65 and under 18, although exercise times for children and teenagers were extended to 14:00 - 20:00 (local time) on Wednesdays and Fridays.
As of Friday, June 5, health authorities have confirmed 167,410 COVID-19 cases and 4630 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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