Turkey banned smoking on some streets, bus stops and public places to ensure proper use of the mask. This was announced in a circular from the Interior Ministry on Wednesday. A nationwide mask mandate has existed since September.
“It is observed that in places like busy streets and parks, some people remove or lower their masks and do not use them properly,” the circular said.
It is up to the country’s provincial governors to decide which roads are subject to restrictions. In Istanbul, the ban affects 218 streets and 84 public squares, including Taksim and Sultanahmet squares, both popular spots for foreign and local visitors. According to the Istanbul governor, those who violate the ban will be fined about $ 110.
The number of new cases is rising across the country, topping 2,600 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Until recently, Turkey had not registered more than 2,000 cases in a day since the beginning of May.