Istanbul’s public beaches are ready to welcome swimmers and sunbathers Monday after completing preparations to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.
Beaches throughout Turkey’s largest metropolis were closed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 but will be reopened Monday as part of the steps toward normalization as case numbers have dropped.
In Şile, on the northern Black Sea coast of Istanbul’s Asian side, beach lounge chairs have been placed at least 2 meters apart, in line with social distancing rules laid out by the municipality, while disinfectant is readily available in common areas.
Murat Gültekin, an employee at Ayazma Beach in Şile, said they aim to maintain a distance of 3 meters between the chairs even once the beach gets busy.
“We will try to maintain this distance because Şile is very crowded in the summer,” Gültekin told Anadolu Agency (AA), adding that they expect beachgoers to begin coming starting Monday.
On the European side of the city, Kilyos and four other beaches in Sarıyer have also been busy with preparations to keep visitors safe.
Officials are ensuring regular disinfection is carried out in changing cabins and throughout the beach facilities.
Local businesspeople are also implementing ways to maintain social distance for customers of establishments nearby the beach, including creating enough space between tables at cafes and restaurants.
Turkey is taking its biggest step yet toward normalization Monday with dozens of restrictions lifted across the country.
The daily number of new cases has dropped below 1,000 in the past two weeks, and the number of deaths has fallen as well, with 26 new deaths reported Saturday. Turkey has confirmed more than 163,100 cases of COVID-19, while nearly 127,000 of these patients have recovered. The total number of deaths reached 4,515 on Saturday.
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