By Lale Bildirici and Emin Ileri
ISTANBUL (AA) – National museums in Istanbul, including the iconic Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace that were temporarily closed on March 18 to slow the spread of coronavirus, reopened to the public on Tuesday.
Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace, which served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of Ottoman sultans, also began receiving visitors on Monday just as other museums and archeological sites across Turkey reopened.
Several protective measures have been taken by the National Palaces Administration as part of the normalization process.
Social distancing has been made compulsory with “social distance control labels” on the visiting routes, as well as waiting areas such as ticket offices and gardens.
While visitors are checked for fever at the entrance, those who do not have a mask are provided one by the National Palaces staff.
The National Palaces personnel who have direct contact with the visitors will make use of protective gear.
Besides, audio guide devices will be given visitors in a disposable ziplock bag, allowing them to use the device without any contact.
Indoor and outdoor spaces will also be disinfected on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, domestic flights and inter-city travel have also resumed, and restaurants started admitting customers.
The decreasing daily death toll, increasing recoveries and fewer new cases have paved the way for the relaxation.
The country has so far reported a total of 164,769 virus cases, including 128,947 recoveries and 4,563 deaths.