Turkey resumes intercity train service after 2-month halt


Intercity train service resumed on a limited basis Thursday in Turkey as the government eases restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus.

Service restarted following a two-month suspension with a high-speed train departing the capital, Ankara, for Istanbul at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT). Trains will make 16 trips daily, connecting the cities of Ankara, Istanbul, Konya and Eskişehir.

The trains are operating at half-capacity, and passengers are being permitted on board only with a government-issued code certifying they are not being monitored for a suspected COVID-19 infection.

Speaking at a ceremony at Ankara's train station, Turkish Transportation Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu, said travelers showing signs of illness would not be allowed on board. Any passenger exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms on a train will be taken to a special "isolation section" and handed over to health officials at the nearest station, he said.

No food or drinks will be served during the journey, the minister added.

The government has eased some restrictions, including opening shopping malls and hairdressers. Mosques will allow congregations for two daytime prayers starting Friday.

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