Turkey, on Tuesday, made the wearing of face masks in public mandatory in 42 provinces, as the number of coronavirus cases has spiked since restrictions were eased.
The Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, said that the country could not fight the virus without people using face masks.
Koca, however, urged the people to ensure that rules were followed to contain the spread of the virus.
“The number of new cases is now almost double that of early June when Turkey allowed cafes, restaurants, parks and other public venues to re-open and rescinded travel bans on the 15 hardest-hit regions,’’ Koca said.
The authorities have urged people since April to wear masks in crowded areas such as markets.
Earlier, Koca said there had been 18 deaths from the COVID-19 disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide toll to 4,825.
The same period saw 1,592 new infections, raising the tally of confirmed cases to nearly 180,000 since Turkey reported its first case on March 11.
The minister, however, acknowledged that there was an increase in cases in some regions, adding that the spread could be controlled if people wear masks and follow physical distancing rules.
Meanwhile, by July 1, cinemas, theatres and wedding halls would be back in business, while the opening hours for restaurants and cafes would also be extended.