According to a meeting of Turkmenistan’s Cabinet of Ministers on May 6, the requirement to wear medical masks on the streets would be repealed as of June 1. Only in enclosed spaces and during transportation are they required to be worn.

According to “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” correspondents, the wearing of masks in the streets and bazaars is no longer enforced by Ashgabat police. However, a significant section of the capital’s population continues to do so.

Some people are unaware that the mask rule has been modified, while others continue to wear masks for fear of police fines.

According to HT journalists, the authorities do not inform the public about the decision, with the exception of one broadcast of the meeting where the decision to loosen coronavirus limitations was made, and people learn about it through one another.

News television reports are no longer as clear as they once were. In one press release, some frames show people wearing masks in various assembly and music halls (closed premises), while others show people sitting in the same conditions without masks.

A police officer also told an HT reporter that while wearing a mask is not required if a person is walking down the street alone, it is required if a group of people is walking.

At the end of the June 1 news release, the announcer typically announced a dangerous amount of dust particles in the air and encouraged listeners to take the required precautions. The Turkmen authorities previously justified the use of masks by claiming that there was dangerous dust in the air.

On June 2, the journal “Neutral Turkmenistan” published an article with doctor advice on how to avoid the summer heat. According to the text, medical masks should be worn on public transit, inside, and in crowded places, with a gap of two metres maintained whenever possible. It is not emphasised that masks should no longer be worn on the streets.

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