By Burak Bir, Jeyhun Aliyev and Havva Kara Aydin
ANKARA (AA) – As Turkey’s vaccination campaign continues apace, an easing of coronavirus restrictions will begin, based on conditions in individual provinces, the president announced Monday night.
Weekend curfews, in place since December, will be lifted in low- and medium-risk provinces, while restrictions on Sunday will continue “for a while” in provinces classified as high risk or very high risk, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a Cabinet meeting at the presidential complex.
"Face-to-face education will start in low- and medium-risk provinces of Turkey, including in middle and high schools," he added.
Erdogan also said that all preschool education institutions across Turkey, as well as elementary schools and grades 8 and 12, will resume in-person classes.
The categorization of provinces as being low, medium, high, or very high risk is based on infection rates and the vaccination process, which began on Jan. 14
However, the country's nationwide curfew from 9.00 pm to 5.00 am will continue, Erdogan added.
Businesses such as restaurants and cafes will be open with 50% capacity from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm, except in very high-risk provinces, he announced.
On the country's successful vaccination campaign, Erdogan also mentioned that having done 9 million coronavirus jabs, Turkey is one of only five countries worldwide that have already vaccinated 10% of their populations.
As of Monday, Turkey registered a total of 28.638 deaths from COVID-19, while over 2.57 million people have recovered from the disease. There have been over 2.7 million confirmed cases in the country.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed more than 2.53 million lives in 192 countries and regions.
Over 114.2 million cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries now over 64.51 million, according to figures compiled by the US' Johns Hopkins University.
The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries in terms of cases.