Today is the first day of Ramadan, in which the new restrictions regarding the pandemic would start. But we still do not know the details. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will announce possible new lockdowns and restrictions after the Cabinet meeting to be held today. In other words, the fate of our daily lives and businesses will be sealed to a certain extend.
Yesterday, following the Scientific Advisory Board meeting, Health Minister stated that they will submit comprehensive and alternative proposals at the Cabinet Meeting. “We have to enter in a period reducing close contact and mobilization. We should consider the Holly Ramadan as a particularly important period in terms of measures,” Health Minister said, stressing that a new peak is experienced, in which infectiousness has increased.
The number of daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 54,500 and 80% of the population resides in very risky areas. As we approach the summer season with these high pandemic figures, the tourism sector seems to be further affected adversely this year. While Germany listed Turkey as a risky area few days ago, Russia restricted the air travel with the country between April 15-June 1 ‘for now’.
With regards to Russia’s decision, charter and some regular flights will be suspended, however two flights a week will continue between Moscow and Istanbul, according to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova. On the other hand, tour operators will be recommended not to sell package tours… So, restrictions are likely to continue if the number of daily cases doesn’t decline…
It’s worthy here to note that both states are among top 5 countries visiting Turkey. Most recently, Russia sent 87,046 tourists to the country with a share of 16.18%, while 32,787 German citizens visited Turkey with 6.09% share in February, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. On the other hand, Russia generated 16.72% slice in the country’s foreign tourist pie, while 8.79% was created by Germany in 2020, when the pandemic broke out. It’s also important to note that the tourism sector is among economic engines of the country.
Looking at the money markets, USD/TRY appreciates at 8.15, while EUR/TRY is traded at 9.72. Meanwhile, spot gold sees USD 1,728 per ounce.
Oil prices raised with the impact of increasing Chinese imports and tension in the Middle East. The Houits attacked Saudi Aramco’s oil sites with explosive drones, raising tensions in the region. Brent crude rose to USD 63.64 per barrel, while the U.S. crude oil knocked the door of USD 60.
The Cabinet will convey under the presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdogan at 3.00 pm. Erdogan will deliver decisions following the meeting.
Turkish Statistical Institute released Industrial Production Index as well as Retail Sales and Turnover Indices for February. Accordingly, the Industrial Production Index annually increased by 8.8%. On the other hand, retail sales volume rose by 4.6% in February, compared to the same month of the previous year, while total turnover increased by 30.4% on annual basis.