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Turkmenistan eases the mask mandate

It was announced at the Cabinet session on 6 May that effective 1 June the mandatory requirement to wear masks outdoors will be abolished. The mask mandate will still be valid for public transport and indoor premises.

Correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report that Ashgabat police officer no longer request residents to wear masks outdoors and in the markets. However, many Ashgabat residents are still wearing them.

Some are not aware of the easing of the mask mandate whereas other wear masks out of fear that police officers might fine them.

According to journalists of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan”, apart from one broadcast of the Cabinet session, in the course of which a decision was made to ease COVID-19 prevention measures, the authorities did not inform officially residents of the decision and people found out from each other.

News reports, as before, are quite misleading and do not help to clarify the situation. Some news broadcasts feature people wearing masks in assembly or concert halls (indoor space) whereas other show people without masks.

A police officer told a correspondent of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” that if one person walks along the street, he does not have to wear a mask but if it is a group of people, all of them are obliged to wear masks.

At the end of the news broadcast on 1 June the anchor talked about the dangerous concentration of dust particles and called on observing precautionary measures. The Turkmen authorities had previously explained the requirement to use masks by dangerous dust particles in the air.

The issue of the newspaper “Neitralny Turkmenistan” as of 2 June published the article giving doctors’ recommendations on how to protect oneself from the summer heat. It is briefly mentioned in the articles that masks should be worn in public transport, indoors and crowded places. However, it does not mention that the outdoor mandate requirement has been lifted.