Portugal starts curfews, Turkey ends curbs

·2-min read

Evening and weekend curfews have been scrapped in Turkey after being in place for more than six months while authorities in Portugal impose similar measures in areas where coronavirus infections are surging.

Caps on the number of patrons in restaurants in Turkey have also been lifted on Thursday while offices are allowed to operate as normal and cinemas and theatres can once again welcome guests.

The mask requirement for public spaces continues to apply and hygiene and distance rules must continue to be observed, the Turkish Interior Ministry said.

In Turkey, restrictions were in effect on weekends starting in November and then later also imposed on weeknights.

Restaurants and cafes, for example, remained closed for weeks and could only offer delivery services.

Then, at the end of April, the government imposed a 17-day hard lockdown.

The number of new daily infections is falling in Turkey.

Currently, between 5000 and 6000 new cases are recorded every day in the country of 84 million.

About 40 per cent of the population has received at least one vaccine dose.

A night-time curfew will be imposed in several Portuguese municipalities, including the capital Lisbon and the city of Porto, as authorities scramble to bring under control a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The 11pm to 5am curfew, which starts on Friday, will be in place in 45 municipalities across the country.

Coronavirus cases jumped by 2449 on Thursday, the biggest increase since mid-February.

Daily coronavirus deaths, in single digits, remain well below February levels, however.

"We are not in any circumstances to claim that the pandemic is in control," cabinet minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference.

"This is a time to follow the rules, avoid gatherings, avoid parties and seek to contain the numbers."

Vieira da Silva said new cases were mostly being reported among unvaccinated young people.

Authorities are speeding up the vaccination campaign to tackle the surge, with those aged 18 to 29 receiving their jabs from next week.

People living in Lisbon's metropolitan area, where most new cases are concentrated, must still present a negative coronavirus test or a vaccination certificate to leave or enter the region at the weekend.

In total, Portugal, which has fully vaccinated about 31 per cent of its population, has recorded 882,006 cases and 17,101 deaths since the pandemic began.

with DPA

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