ANKARA: Lines formed outside of shopping malls Monday in Turkey as they opened for the first time in seven weeks, albeit with strict hygiene requirements.
Barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons also were back in business as the Turkish government gradually eases the restrictions on public activity it enacted to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The government has laid out strict operating guidelines for reopened businesses. Shopping malls must check entering customers for fevers and ensure everyone wears face masks.
The number of customers allowed in at once is capped under a formula of one person per every 10 square meters (108 square feet) of floor space.
Providers of personal services such as hairdressers and barbers are required to work only by appointment, to wear both surgical masks and transparent plastic face screens, and to use disposable towels and other single-use supplies.
Private broadcaster HaberTurk TV showed municipal officials in Istanbul inspecting hair salons to make sure the shops were following the new regulations.
"Today is the barbers' and hairdressers' day," state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Sezai Apaydin, the head of an association for beauty salons in Izmir, western Turkey, as saying.
"They suffered hardship for 50 days. If they take care, they should be able to continue their businesses in healthy manner," he added.
The Turkish government announced a "normalization plan" as the number of new virus cases declined last week but warned of tougher measures, if infections go up again.
On Sunday, people age 65 and other were allowed to leave their homes for a few hours for the first time in seven weeks.
As of Monday, Turkey had recorded 138,657 confirmed cases of the virus and 3,786 deaths attributed to COVID-19.