ISTANBUL

Turkey’s historic Grand Bazaar will reopen for shopping as of June 1, the chairman of the iconic tourist destination said Friday.

Fatih Kurtulmus, chairman of the Grand Bazaar’s (Kapalicarsi) board, told reporters inside the 500-plus-year-old building about new measures to step up protections when visitors return.

Seen as the world’s first shopping mall, the bazaar closed on March 23 as part of measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has taken over a quarter-million lives worldwide.

One of Istanbul’s top tourist attractions, the Grand Bazaar is located inside the old city of Istanbul and has 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract some 250,000-400,000 visitors daily.

In recent days Turkey has continued to see declines in daily death tolls and numbers of patients in intensive care, while its registered recoveries reached nearly 83,000, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Thursday.

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 187 countries and territories. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

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