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Turkey bans smoking in some public places to ensure proper mask usage.

Turkey banned smoking on some streets, bus stops and public squares in order to ensure proper mask usage, a late night circular of the interior ministry announced on Wednesday. A nationwide mask mandate has been in place since September.

“It is observed that in places like busy streets and parks some people remove or lower their masks, and they do not use it correctly,’’ the circular said.

It is up to the country’s provincial governors to decide which streets will face restrictions. In Istanbul, the ban affects 218 streets and 84 public squares, including Taksim and Sultanahmet squares, both popular spots for foreign and local visitors. A fine of about $110 will be imposed on those who breach the ban, according to the Istanbul governor’s office.

The number of new cases across the country is soaring, surpassing 2,600 on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Until recently, Turkey had not registered more than 2,000 cases in one day since the beginning of May.

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