What should you know before traveling to Turkey during the pandemic? Well, that question might be important for would-be travelers to the country and others who would like to visit it for business or other purposes.
However, it may be noted that some of the advice shared on these pages may well be suited to travelers to other places and regions as well. The information will help you make an informed decision about your travel plans.
In fact, every country has somewhat different guidelines for international tourists who would like to visit the place.
Situation On The Ground?
Having endured a major spike in cases in the first half of 2021, which led to a 17-day lockdown at the end of April, Turkey has begun to slowly ease restrictions. As of July, it has scrapped its nighttime curfew and Sunday lockdowns, and begun to tentatively reopen at least some of its sectors.
What’s On Offer?
With thriving cities, spectacular ancient ruins, and monuments and landscapes ripe for exploration — plus spectacular beaches — Turkey has long been a favorite among tourists looking for a great summer holiday destination.
Who Can Visit?
Anyone can travel to Turkey, though some are subject to restrictions. Those who have been in Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka in the 14 days before travel will be quarantined for 14 days on arrival.
Passengers from Afghanistan and Pakistan are subject to a 10-day quarantine, while arrivals from the UK, Egypt, Iran, and Singapore must undergo mandatory testing before entering the country. You may want to see what preparations you have to make if you are planning to visit the country soon.
What Are The Restrictions?
Arrivals from Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka must submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, before spending 14 days in government quarantine facilities. A further negative PCR test on the final day of quarantine is required. If positive, these arrivals will need to complete a further 14 days in quarantine.
Those arriving from Afghanistan and Pakistan must undertake the same testing regime before departure, but will only need to spend 10 days in quarantine, with a second test on day 7. Quarantine facilities are determined by Turkey’s different governorships, with costs varying depending on where travelers stay.
Those coming from the UK, Egypt, Iran, and Singapore must provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken within at least 72 hours of leaving for Turkey, regardless of vaccine status.
All other international arrivals must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or an antigen test was taken within 48 hours of departure. You can skip these with either proof of a Covid-19 infection in the past six months or of vaccination at least 14 days before arrival.
All Turkish airports are operating random testing. Passengers can proceed to their destination after they have been tested, but anyone who receives a positive test must quarantine for 14 days at their specified address, along with their close contacts. This can be terminated if a negative result is returned on day 10 — the local authorities will handle it on site.
All passengers must complete a Turkey Entry Form at least 72 hours before departure. Paper or mobile copies can be shown on arrival.
Children under six are not required to submit testing or vaccine information, while passengers transiting are also exempt.
What’s the Covid Situation?
Turkey’s death toll stands at 51,124, with nearly 5.6 million cases registered. After a tough first year, the situation has improved markedly following several strict lockdowns and restrictions on socializing. The country has seen daily case numbers fall to around 22,000 (down from a record 823,000 in December 2020). It has fully vaccinated over 30% of the population as of July 29, 2021.
What Can Visitors Expect?
Turkey’s provinces have been split into four risk tiers: low, medium, high, and very high. An official online portal details what to expect in each region. On a national level, mask-wearing remains mandatory everywhere outside the home, including in outdoor public spaces, parks, beaches, gardens, and markets. Smoking has also been banned in open public areas.
Nightly curfews and Sunday lockdowns have now been removed and cafes and restaurants can serve unlimited numbers of people. Concerts are also allowed with no capacity restrictions but are subject to a midnight curfew. Social distancing rules strictly remain in place. Museums have reopened, although mask-wearing, social distancing, and hygiene measures remain in place.