Turkish schools will start to reopen on Sept. 21 in a gradual transition back to in-person education, Education Minister Ziya Selcuk said on Wednesday, delaying the reopening by three weeks after a rise in coronavirus cases, Reuters reports.
In a news conference after a meeting of Turkey’s science board to discuss measures to combat the outbreak, Selcuk said that distance learning would begin on Aug. 31, when schools had previously been set to open.
Ankara announced the initial closure of schools in mid-March after the emergence of the first coronavirus cases in Turkey.
Last week Turkey rolled out new inspection and enforcement rules after daily new coronavirus cases jumped above 1,000 for the first time in three weeks, in what the government called a grave rise during peak holiday season.
Top doctors have warned about insufficient testing and urged a tougher message from Ankara, which lifted a partial lockdown in June and has since lobbied hard for countries to allow tourists to visit to help get the economy back on its feet.
The coronavirus has killed nearly 5,900 people in Turkey with more than 240,000 cases recorded.