Turkey has begun operating intercity trains on May 28 after a two-month gap, as it gradually eases coronavirus curbs in a bid to restore everyday life and reopen its economy.
To fight the virus, Turkey had imposed weekend stay-at-home orders, halted most travel between large cities, shut restaurants and schools, and mostly sealed its borders.
But the government has begun rolling back some measures as the spread of the virus slows, saying it aims to normalize life until August.
At 04:00 GMT, an intercity train left the capital, Ankara, for Istanbul for the first time since the March 28 halt in services.
Trains will make 16 trips daily, although individuals aged 20 or less and 65 or older cannot travel.
Trains would run at half capacity with no ticket price hikes, Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said, adding that passengers would be monitored for virus symptoms.
“Passengers showing COVID-19 symptoms during the trip will be taken to isolation compartments on the trains and handed over to health officials at the first appropriate station,” he told reporters at Ankara’s train station.
The virus has killed more than 4,400 people in Turkey, which has recorded nearly 160,000 infections.
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