Curated from news sources

This is a constantly evolving situation and this article will be updated regularly in line with government updates.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared the number of provincial cases for the week of 20-26 February 2021 on his social media account Monday, stating that the Coronavirus Scientific Committee took into account the positivity rate of the PCR tests performed together with the weekly number of cases per 100 thousand population, the rate of intensive care occupancy and the increase in intubated patients in determining the risk categories of the provinces.

The Minister shared the message “We have to gradually normalize” in his post.

Weekly number of cases by province/100,000

According to the current map, the weekly average number of cases increased from 68.23 to 89.90 in Istanbul, from 42.67 to 53.42 in İzmir and from 35.39 to 39.84 in Ankara.

In Muğla province, the weekly number of cases has risen from 49.66/100,000 to 57.38/100,000.

Provincial risk map

The colour-coded risk map, published by Minister Koca, shows how normalization will begin. Provinces are divided into 4 categories according to risk assessment criteria. The categories are low risk (blue), medium risk (yellow), high risk (orange) and very high risk (red).

Turkey eases COVID-19 restrictions and issues guidelines based on risk groups

Very high-risk provinces (red)

Adıyaman, Aksaray, Amasya, Balıkesir, Burdur, Edirne, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Konya, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sinop, Tokat, Trabzon. (17 provinces)

High-risk provinces (orange)

Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Bilecik, Bolu, Çanakkale, Düzce, İstanbul, İzmir, Karaman, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Kırklareli, Kilis, Kocaeli, Kütahya, Mersin, Muğla, Niğde, Tekirdağ, Yalova, Zonguldak. (22 provinces)

Medium-risk provinces (yellow)

Adana, Afyonkarahisar, Ankara, Aydın, Bartin, Bayburt, Bursa, Çankırı, Çorum, Denizli, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Isparta, Kahramanmaraş, Karabük, Kars, Kastamonu, Kırşehir, Malatya, Manisa, Nevşehir, Sivas, Tunceli, Yozgat. (28 provinces)

Low-risk provinces (Blue)

Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Iğdır, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Uşak, Van. (14 provinces)

COVID-19 guidelines based on risk groups

Turkey’s Interior Ministry issued a public notice Tuesday on coronavirus measures to be taken according to risk groups. The measures are effective from 2 March 2021.

According to the notice sent to all 81 of the country’s provinces, the rules to be followed and coronavirus measures to be taken on a provincial basis will be determined by the governorships.


The country’s nationwide curfew from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. on weekdays will continue.

On weekends in low and medium-risk provinces, the curfew will be implemented between 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m., just like during the week.

In high-risk and very high-risk provinces, a curfew will be implemented between 9.00 p.m. on Friday and 5.00 a.m. on Saturday and starting from 9.00 p.m. on Saturday and covering all of Sunday, ending at 5.00 a.m. on Monday. Curfews will be lifted in these provinces on Saturday between 5.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m.

In low and medium-risk provinces, curfew restrictions will be lifted for people aged 65 and above as well as under 20.

In high-risk and very high-risk provinces, the permitted time period to go out for those aged 65 and over and under 20 will be increased from three hours to four hours. Persons aged 65 and over will be able to go out between 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 pm and under 20 between 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 pm.

Exceptions/exemptions to the curfew remain the same as outlined in the “List of Places and Persons Exempt from the Curfew Restriction” determined by the Ministry Circular No. 20076 dated 30.11.2020. The procedures and principles regarding intercity travel will continue to be applied in the same way.


In provinces in high and very high risk groups, education institutions approved by the Ministry of National Education to conduct face-to-face training / exams will be exempted from the curfew restriction limited to the route and relevant hours, provided that they document the status of students / teachers / employees with the institution address to be given by the educational institutions and the document containing the study / course schedule.

Food and beverage businesses

All restaurants will request HES Code

In provinces in low, medium and high-risk groups, businesses such as restaurants, cafeterias, patisseries, coffee houses, tea gardens will be open with 50% capacity from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Capacity numbers will be determined by the conditions outlined in the Outbreak Management and Study Guide and 50% limitation applied. A seating arrangement plan will be prepared for each eating and drinking place (inside and outside), and the capacity numbers displayed.

Eating and drinking places in these risk groups will be able to serve as take-away or delivery service between 19:00 and 21:00, and only as delivery service between 21:00 and 24:00.

In provinces in the very high-risk group, eating and drinking places can only serve as take-away or delivery service between 10.00 -20.00, and only as delivery service between 20.00 -24.00. They will not be able to provide services within the premises.

Customers who fail to show the HES code will not be allowed to enter the premises.

Astro pitches, swimming pools and similar facilities

In low- and medium-risk provinces, astro pitches and swimming pools will be able to operate between 9.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., provided that the HES code is used at the entrances and no spectators, companions, or guests are allowed.

Facilities such as astro pitches and swimming pool will remain closed until a new decision in high-risk and very high-risk provinces.

Weddings and group events

Weddings can be held on condition they do not exceed groups of 100* people in low and medium risk provinces and 50* people in high and high-risk areas. The duration must not exceed 1 hour.

General assemblies of non-governmental organizations, professional associations, cooperatives and similar organizations can be held in low, medium and high-risk provinces with participation of not more than 300* people. In very high-risk provinces, these activities will be postponed.

*minimum area of 8m2 per person applies.

In addition, activities that cause people to come together (as stated above) should be notified to the Governorships / District Governorships (at least three days in advance if there is no other provision in the relevant legislation) with details of the activities to be carried out and the limitations of persons and areas. Inspection teams will carry out audits to ensure compliance.

The decisions of Provincial / District General Hygiene Boards are made by the Governors and District Governors in accordance with the 27th and 72nd Articles of the General Hygiene Law.

Those who do not comply with the decisions taken by the Sanitation Boards, in accordance with the relevant articles of the General Hygiene Law No. 1593, will be subject to the initiation of judicial proceedings within the scope of Article 195 of the Turkish Criminal Code.

The list of measures will be updated on a bi-weekly and a province-by-province basis.


It is crucial that the COVID-19 prevention measures are followed; wear a mask at all times when outside your home, socially distance by keeping 2m apart and wash hands regularly.

This virus is still in control and, whilst people may be suffering from pandemic fatigue, the virus isn’t!

Stay safe everyone!



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