Turkey’s palaces, museums re-open with face masks, social distancing

Some of Turkey’s most visited palaces and museums re-opened to the public this week, with rules in place over face masks and social distancing intended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, Anadolu news agency said. 

Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace, the main residence of the Ottoman sultans, re-opened on Monday, while Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace, that were closed on March 18 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, re-opened on Tuesday.  

Turkey’s National Palaces Administration said visitors will be checked for a fever at the entrance to museums, and the wearing of masks is mandatory. Those who do not have a mask will be provided one by staff.

Labels have been applied to help enforce social distancing. Indoor and outdoor spaces will also be disinfected on a daily basis, Anadolu said. 

The openings are part of what Turkey calls its normalisation process, as COVID-19 infections and deaths have fallen. This month Turkey also resumed domestic flights and inter-city travel, and allowed restaurants and cafes to re-open.