If distance rule can be met with sufficient ventilation, indoor masks also ‘no longer necessary,’ says health minister
As the coronavirus seems to be receding, Turkiye has lifted its requirement to wear a mask outdoors, a longtime requirement to stem the spread of COVID-19, the country’s health minister said Wednesday.
“We no longer have to wear masks outdoors,” Fahrettin Koca told reporters following a meeting of the country’s committee on the fight against the virus.
Koca also said that if ventilation is sufficient in closed environments and social distancing rules can be followed, it is “no longer necessary” to wear a mask indoors either.
But he added: “We are not removing masks from our lives, we carry them with us to wear when necessary.”
In another change, the use of HES codes Turkiye’s coronavirus contact tracing system – has been lifted, and the public will no longer have to show their code at the entrance to any building or event, said Koca.
Turkiye, along with many nations worldwide, has been gradually relaxing pandemic controls as case numbers of the virus fall, along with hospitalizations and death, and a larger portion of the population is vaccinated.
Turkiye reported 56,780 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.
According to the Health Ministry, 189 deaths and 68,268 recoveries were also recorded over the past day, with some 407,536 virus tests done across the country.
To counter the spread of the virus, Turkiye has administered over 145.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since launching an immunization drive in January 2021.
More than 57.69 million people have received a first vaccine jab, while over 52.83 million have been given two doses. More than 27.17 million people have also had third booster shots.
Since December 2019, the virus has claimed more than 5.96 million lives in at least 192 countries and regions, with over 439.32 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.