Thousands demonstrate in Turkey against COVID-19 protocols

Thousands demonstrate in Turkey against COVID-19 protocols

Several thousand people demonstrated in Turkey on Saturday against COVID-19 protocols recently implemented to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

Earlier this week, Turkey’s government said proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test would be required for attendance at concerts and other events with larger crowds, according to Reuters. The restrictions also apply to certain modes of transportation such as trains and buses. 

In public spaces, people are required to practice social distancing and wear masks. Additionally, COVID-19 testing several times per week would be required for those who work in schools and remain unvaccinated, according to the news outlet.

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Demonstrators in the Turkish streets Saturday alleged that the recent measures infringed on their personal freedoms.

The news comes after France and Greece have seen similar protests due to coronavirus restrictions. The countries' demonstrators have made similar arguments about personal freedoms.

France and Greece have required health care staff to get vaccinated. Additionally, France is requiring people to use a health pass that shows whether they have been vaccinated or had a recent negative COVID-19 test. 

COVID-19 cases in Turkey have remained relatively stagnant since the beginning of August, according to data from the World Health Organization. Between Wednesday and Friday of this week, the country recorded about 23,000 new daily COVID-19 cases. 

By comparison, cases were in the thousands in July. Reuters noted that 64 percent of eligible people have been fully vaccinated. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current travel notice said that Turkey’s COVID-19 levels were “very high” and urged travelers to avoid travel to Turkey. It said that if travelers had to go to the country, they should be fully vaccinated.