Entry into Turkey just became much easier starting June 1, 2021, as the government of Turkey removes the need for PCR testing for those who can show proof of being fully vaccinated.
Essentially all countries can visit Turkey for non-essential travel and tourism, but since late-2020, all passengers have been required to bring a negative 72-hour PCR test for entry.
Since Turkey has managed to topple its third wave over the past few weeks, the government wants to expand the ways travelers can safely enter to restart the summer tourism season. New daily case numbers fell below 7000 this week for the first time since February.
Proof of vaccination to skip testing
As of June 1, 2021, passengers from most nations can now instead show proof of being fully vaccinated, with at least 14 days passing since receiving the final shot, in lieu of the PCR test requirement.
The new vaccination exemption applies to almost all countries worldwide, however there are some nations with high-risk variants that will not be included.
The highest-risk countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Passengers from these nations can still enter, but with a 72-hour PCR test and 14-day government-approved quarantine.
Medium-risk countries include: United Kingdom, Iran, Egypt and Singapore. Passengers from these nations will still be required to submit a negative 72-hour PCR test, even if they are fully-vaccinated.
All other countries are now considered to be lower-risk and can enter Turkey with proof of being fully vaccinated in order to skip PCR testing requirements.
Proof of recovery also accepted
Passengers from lower-risk countries (any country not listed in the paragraph above) can also show proof of recent recovery from the virus instead of vaccination or the 72-hour PCR test. Proof of recovery documents includes a positive PCR test dated within 14-180 days of arrival, along with a certificate from a health professional showing the passenger has now fully recovered from the virus.
To summarize, 90% of countries worldwide can now enter Turkey by choosing one of the following entry requirements:
- A 72-hour negative PCR test
- Proof of vaccination, with 14-days having passed since the final shot
- Proof of recovery which includes a positive test 14-180 days old, along with a certificate of recovery.
Turkey started testing entry based on proof of vaccination throughout the month of May, as they allowed vaccinated residents of Hungary and Serbia to enter test-free. Turkey also tested vaccinated entry on its own citizens, allowing inoculated Turkish residents to return home without the need for PCR testing. Due to the success of the May tests, Turkey has now rolled the program out to worldwide vaccinated passengers.
While the government of Turkey has not yet specified which vaccines are approved for entry, it’s assumed the Big 4 (Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J and Pfizer) along with Sinovac and Sputnik will be recognized. Turkey has approved 3 vaccines (Pfizer, Sinovac and Sputnik) for use among its own citizens.
Turkey is open and ready for summer tourists
Along with easier entry requirements, more internal covid-related restrictions were removed on June 1, 2021.
Restaurants can now seat limited tables for indoor dining, with table service hours being extended from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm and home/hotel delivery until midnight. Shopping malls will be open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm during the week, and other businesses like movie theatres, spas, and gyms can operate at 50% capacity. Hotels and beach resorts have already been open and operating for months, with most services available for guests.
However, full lockdowns are still scheduled for each Sunday, and while that does not apply to the movement of foreign tourists, most local businesses will be closed.
Turkey’s Entry Requirements
For more details on all of Turkey’s entry requirements (including e-visas, passenger forms, and other important information) please see our frequently updated guide: Turkey: COVID-19 Entry Requirements For International Travelers
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories
sources: Turkish Airlines