Restaurants reopen in Istanbul amid easing restrictions

Restaurants and cafes have reopened in Turkey’s biggest city of Istanbul as the government was relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

With full preparations made for lunchtime, owners of restaurants located in the business quarters of the city were eager to serve the thousands of public workers who also returned to their offices on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Most restaurant owners planned to call it a day in the afternoon because they believed the streets would be empty after people go off work at 6 p.m. in the evening.

“I don’t think restaurants will stay open for dinner for a while,” the owner of a small restaurant in the commercial Karakoy neighbourhood, who didn’t give his name, told Xinhua.

Restaurants located in the city’s tourist areas remained closed until international flights were resumed.

Parks, beaches, daycare centres, kindergartens, libraries, sports facilities, and museums also resumed operation on Monday, while the ban on domestic travel was lifted.

In May, the Turkish government decided to further ease restrictions over the COVID-19 pandemic after infection cases were reported to have dropped over the past weeks.

As of Tuesday, Turkey accounted for 164,769 COVID-19 cases, with 4,563 deaths.