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Turkey bans public smoking to reinforce mask use

AP/ISTANBUL
Filed on November 12, 2020
People wearing masks to help protect against the spread of coronavirus, wait at a bus station, in Ankara, Turkey.

(AP)

Interior ministry says nationwide mask mandate in public spaces must be followed at all times

Turkey’s interior ministry has banned smoking in public places across the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said smoking would be banned in busy streets, bus stops and public squares when necessary.

It said the nationwide mask mandate in public spaces must be followed at all times. It said smokers were routinely violating the mask rule, which has been in effect for several months.

The ministry also said provinces can decide to impose curfews on people older than 65 according to increases in the number of critical patients. The governors of Istanbul and Ankara have already reintroduced measures this week, allowing senior citizens to leave their homes only between 10am and 4pm.

Turkey has seen a spike in infections since lifting partial lockdowns and reopening businesses in late May. The latest health ministry figures show 86 died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,145.





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