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Erdogan announces 10pm closure for restaurants, cinemas & Turkish baths as country sees Covid-19 spike

Erdogan announces 10pm closure for restaurants, cinemas & Turkish baths as country sees Covid-19 spike
All businesses in Turkey, including restaurants and cinemas, must close at 10pm local time in a bid to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.

Addressing the nation after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Erdogan said the new curfew would also include Turkish baths, wedding halls and concert venues, although food takeaway services would be exempt.

The move comes in response to a spike in Covid-19 infections, with 2,343 new cases and 79 deaths confirmed on Tuesday, although Ankara only reports the number of those who show symptoms.

Erdogan also urged the public to “to avoid crowded places,” and not to visit other households “unless they have to.” He said that flexible working hours “will be encouraged.”

The Turkish president compared what he described as the country's “controlled” response to the pandemic to that of some European nations where he said the “number of patients is high, it is almost out of control.”

We have not faced any crisis in this area. Our daily patient number is at manageable levels.

His words come as a second wave of coronavirus has forced Europe's biggest economies, including France, Germany and the UK, back into some form of lockdown. The harsh measures have prompted a number of protests pushing back against the restrictions.

Also on rt.com WATCH: Unfazed pianist plays his heart out as street BURSTS INTO FLAMES and EXPLOSIONS ring out at Barcelona anti-lockdown clashes

Erdogan also said that the government hopes to make coronavirus vaccines produced outside the country available to people in Turkey soon, while a Turkish-made vaccine should be available “in the spring.” 

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