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Turkey reopens economy as daily new COVID-19 cases fall

Government keen to restart tourism industry, but some experts call move premature

Shoppers in Istanbul: The Turkish government lifted most restrictions on economic activity June 1, while putting in place social distancing measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.   © Reuters

ISTANBUL -- Turkey reopened its economy on Monday, with many restaurants and cafes back in business. The government has reported fewer than 1,000 novel coronavirus cases a day recently, compared with around 5,000 a day in early April.

A restaurant in the heart of Istanbul's business district illustrates the reopening. On Monday morning, it was scrambling to arrange socially distant seating and supply customers with disinfectant to comply with last-minute government regulations. The new seating arrangements mean the cafe can serve only half as many customers as before.

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