Amid rising pandemic figures across Turkey, citizens in the country's culture and commercial capital, Istanbul, will have to show their coronavirus tracking Life Fits Into Home (HES) code to enter most public spaces and all state buildings from March 15 onward, Istanbul Governorate said Thursday.
According to the statement released by the Istanbul Governor's office, the Provincial Public Health Council had taken the step in addition to previous decisions regarding the HES code, in order to better control the spread of COVID-19 during normalization period.
The HES code, generated by a Health Ministry-run digital project, assigns a unique number to every citizen. The number allows checking whether the person bearing the number was infected or poses a risk of infection.
According to the new measures at state institutions and organizations, and at all state and private schools and institutions under the Ministry of Education, people who are entering the premises will be checked for their HES code. The change at schools will affect everyone intending to enter an educational institutions except teachers, students and staff, who are all already checked for their risk assessment by an integrated system between the Health and Education ministries.
Some of the other affected institutions include, non-governmental organizations, coffeehouses, cafes, internet and gaming institutions, theme parks and barbershops among several other businesses.
In order to ensure that there are no setbacks in administering the new measure by district governors and relevant institutions, the city also decided to take legal action under the Public Health Law against those who disobey the rules.
On Jan. 14, Turkey began a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign, starting with healthcare workers along with top officials to encourage public confidence in the vaccines. On March 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions based on circumstances in individual provinces. Since last December, Turkey has been implementing curfew on weeknights.
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