The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, delivered a speech on April 3, 2020 announcing the additional measures the government will undertake to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Internal Affairs delivered to the provincial governorships the Circular Regarding City Entry and Exit Measurements and Age Limits No. 89789865-153 (“Circular“).
What Falls Within the Scope of the Additional Measures?
The Circular imposes the following actions.
1. In 30 metropolitan areas, including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Bursa, Adana, alongside Zonguldak:
- All entrances to and exits from these cities through the sea, air and roads (e.g., by public transit, private vehicles or foot) are temporarily prohibited as of 12:00 AM on Friday, April 3, 2020 for 15 days.
- The only exemptions to the restrictions on city entries and exits are
- Those providing logistic services of goods and materials necessary for the continuity of commercial activities, primarily those fulfilling basic needs (e.g., sanitary goods and food), pharmaceuticals and medical materials, and possessing documents such as delivery notes or invoices;
- Those providing commercial load or passenger transportation in Turkey and those providing international load transportation, as a part of a transit travels;
- For the transportation of materials necessary for the production and security of energy required by the natural gas, electricity and petroleum sectors, and possessing duty certificates or delivery notes;
- Managers, employees, and business owners whose businesses are still operational and whose residences are in a different city than the one in which their businesses are located, and possessing their certificates of residence and social security institution registrations;
- Those assigned to duty for the continuity of public services, primarily healthcare and security, and possessing documents proving their duties and identities; and
- Those that possess Travel Permits issued by governorships and district governorships.
- In all cities in Turkey,
- Individuals born after January 1, 2000 are under curfew as of 12:00 AM on April 3, 2020. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through a second circular delivered to the provincial governorships on April 5, 2020, exempted individuals who are both aged between 18 and 20 and are either civil servants, contracted personnel or employees in public institutions or organizations, employee in the private sector, or seasonal agricultural workers from this restriction; (please click here for more details)
- Additional measures will be taken to reduce the intra-city movement as of 12:00 AM on April 3, 2020. For example, the governorship of Tekirdağ suspended all public transportation between districts and neighbourhoods for 15 days;
- All individuals are required to wear masks in market places, markets and places where collective works are performed; and
- Individuals are prohibited from moving in groups without following the appropriate measure of social distance in squares, avenues and streets.
In accordance with the advice of the Science Board of Turkey, the government has issued additional measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures may seriously affect business activities and daily lives of individuals in 30 metropolitan areas including Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Bursa, Adana and Zonguldak. Lines will likely form for entering or exiting cities, and transportation and logistics may be adversely affected due to possible delays.
Within the scope of the President’s announcement and the Circular, governorships are expected to implement various measures to reduce intra-city movement in the coming days.
It is crucial for individuals and companies to follow and comply with all existing and future legal regulations, and obtain the necessary permits and certificates if conducting logistic activities between cities that have restrictions on entrances and exits to ensure public health and prevent additional business interruptions.
Please refer to https://www.esin.av.tr/coronavirus-desk/ for our client alerts regarding the legal consequences of COVID-19 on other areas.