Turkey Welcomes Travelers, No Quarantine, No Covid-19 Test Required
- Özgür Töre
As international travel to Turkey resumed in June 2020, travelers from Europe and the Middle East started to fly Turkey to have their summer vacation.
Turkey’s tourism industry ramped up operations with the Safe Tourism Certification Program designed jointly by the country’s tourism, health, transportation, and interior ministries.
Turkey is also one of the first destinations that received WTTC Safe Travels stamp and the country is a safe destination for travelers this summer.
Istanbul Airport, which is the main hub for travelers, is the first airport to be accredited through the new Airport Health Accreditation programme launched by the Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI EUROPE.
Following consultations between German and Turkish officials, the German Foreign Ministry updated its advisory against “all but essential” travel to Turkey. Germany has lifted its travel warning to four Turkish seaside provinces on August 4. Travelers from Germany to Antalya, Izmir, Muğla, and Aydin are now exempt. However, as a precaution, travelers returning to Germany will be asked to show a negative PRC (virus antigen) test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival.
Russia also resumed flights to Turkey in August. "We expect 1.8 million Russians to come to Turkey this year," informed Firuz Baglikaya, president of the Union of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).
Direct, scheduled passenger flights between Turkey and the UK resumed on 11 June. British citizens traveling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes are able to travel without a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
As of August 19, Turkey’s popular Mediterranean resort town of Antalya welcomed 299,967 tourists from Ukraine, 281,398 from Russia, 221,151 from Germany, and 85,850 from the United Kingdom. (On Oct.1, 2020, UK added Turkey to its quarantine list)
Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on NTV TV channel, “If there is no setback in air traffic, as we haven’t seen so far, we think that we can reach a tourist number of 15 million at the end of the year,”. Mr. Ersoy also expects $11 billion in tourism revenues this year.
Can US Citizens travel to Turkey?
Yes, they can. Turkey welcomes American travelers and does not require a 14-day quarantine. There is no requirement for US citizens to have a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) unless they show symptoms for COVD-19. If a passenger shows symptoms, then a PCR test will be administered.
Turkish Airlines resumed flights to the United States. The carrier flies from Istanbul to Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco.
U.S. citizens who wish to visit Turkey for less than 90 days may obtain an e-visa for Turkey.
Passengers arriving in Turkey will be required to complete an information form and will be checked for symptoms. Anyone suspected of having COVID-19 will be transported to a hospital for examination. If an individual on a particular aircraft/vehicle/vessel is found to have COVID-19, the information forms completed upon arrival will be used to identify others who have been in contact with them; those individuals will then be subject to 14-day isolation/quarantine.
All passengers, of all nationalities, who meet Turkish immigration rules are permitted entry to Turkey. You must wear a face mask at all times whilst in an airport, and for the duration of all flights, to and from Turkey.
On June 11, Turkey announced opening the majority of its international air, land, and sea borders. The land border with Iran remains closed. The border with Syria remains closed.
Medical tourism travelers will need a medical visa and specific health documentation to enter Turkey for medical tourism.
Turkey’s airline companies offer Tourist Protection and Support Insurance that features advantageous prices starting from EUR 15 for travelers to discover the heavenly destinations of Turkey with even greater peace of mind.
Implemented by Güneş Sigorta under the leadership of the Republic of Turkey, visitors to Turkey are invited to experience the nation’s many attractions while enjoying Covid-19 insurance coverage and peace of mind. For more information visit this page.
Face Mask Requirement
The wearing of face masks has become mandatory in all public areas in 50 cities including Istanbul and Izmir. Wearing face masks in venues such as shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, cafés, and hairdressers are mandatory nationwide.
Domestic Travel in Turkey
Currently, there are no restrictions on an intercity or inter-province travel in the country. Buses, ferries, and trains are operating but there are limits to passenger capacity on buses and all passengers must wear a mask.
Turkish citizens and residents must request a HES (Hayat Eve Sigar) Code for domestic and international flights, train and ferry travel. This does not apply to foreign tourists. Information on how to obtain this code is available here. Airlines also have information on their websites in English about the HES code.
Where to Visit & Stay?
Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Çeşme are the most popular destinations for summer travelers in Turkey.
It is advised to stay in a hotel during your stay in Turkey. Several hotels received Safe Tourism Certification from the Turkish Tourism Ministry. Travelers can book their hotel in Istanbul, Antalya, Alanya, Bodrum, Çeşme. We advise you to filter your results by checking “properties that take health & safety measures”.
Read our latest article about safe holiday destinations and hotels that have 'Safe Tourism Certification' from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.
Cappadocia is also a must-visit destination for travelers. Travelers can stay in cave hotels such as Cappadocia Cave Suites or Carus Cappadocia and take its famous hot air balloon tours that restarted on August 23, after a five-month Covid-19 break. The first ride was done during sunrise, allowing tourists to view the Göreme Open Air Museum, the valley of love, Uçhisar Castle, and Sword Valley. The authorities reduced the number of balloons to prevent overcrowding.
We hope you enjoy your stay in Turkey, relax, and return home healthy & safely.