Turkey is seeing a number of new lockdown rules, curfews and other regulations as the nation deals with a second wave of cases throughout the country.
While Turkey’s rules are not as heavy-handed as some in the area, like Greece for example that requires a text message to be sent to authorities before leaving the house, there still are some things all tourists should be aware of.
Turkey certainly has been one of the most popular destinations for pandemic-era travel. They were one of the first countries to reopen back in June and they were also one of the first countries to remove all covid-related entry requirements.
For months Turkey has been allowing all nations to visit, plus allowing tourists to enter with no quarantines and no testing. Because of this, many travelers who found themselves locked out of other countries decided to go to Turkey instead.
Travel Off Path saw a huge influx in our readers reporting being in Turkey or changing their travel plans to now include Turkey, which is why we want to cover the latest changes happening throughout the nation.
Please note: These the are new rules and regulations at time of publishing. Rules could change at a moment’s notice, either getting stricter, or seeing restrictions dropped once again.
Effective November 20th, 2020, Turkey will see a number of new measures come into effect, expected to last until December 31, 2020.
Age-Related Curfew Times
Residents over 60: Permitted outside between 10 am and 1 pm
Residents under 20: Permitted outside between 1 pm to 4 pm
Curfew in effect on the weekends for all that runs from Saturday at 8 pm until Sunday at 10 am, and then Sunday from 8 pm to Monday at 5 am.
*Curfew Note For Tourists: The Ministry of the Interior government page states “Foreign tourists who are temporarily in our country within the scope of touristic activities will be exempted from the curfew restrictions.”
No More Dining In
Restaurants will be closed for dining in but will allow take-away and delivery during certain times.
- Pick-up/Take-Away will be permitted daily from 10 am to 8 pm
- Delivery ONLY can still run after 8 pm
Some hotels/resorts have alerted guests that they will continue to offer dine-in services to people staying on the property only.
Shops, Stores and Services with Reduced Hours
Shopping centres, malls, salons, etc will still remain open under reduce hours, from 10 am to 8 pm
Businesses like cinemas, theatres, pool halls, hookah lounges, arcades, sports halls, etc will close until further notice.
Will flights still be going in and out of Turkey?
Yes. Istanbul is a major world hub airport and flights will continue to go in and out daily. However, of course, flight availability could become reduced if the restrictions last a long time or more strict ones are made, as the demand may go down
Can I still enter Turkey as a tourist?
Yes. From all of the new updates, we cannot find any changes to the entry rules or requirements. No tests or quarantines have been mandated at this point.
Hotel stays are still permitted. Life inside the resorts will not be hindered much by the current restrictions.
To see all of Turkey’s entry rules, see our guide “Turkey Covid-19 Entry Requirements”
Can I leave my hotel after curfew?
If you are going to the airport to take a fight, in transit to another part of Turkey, changing hotels, or of course for official reasons like medical attention, then yes you will be permitted. While the curfews do not directly include tourists, they will still be greatly affected by it, as nothing will be open, so there will essentially be nowhere to go after 8:00 pm.
Can I move around Turkey?
At this point there are no intercity or interstate travel restrictions for tourists.
Are masks mandatory?
Yes. Masks are mandatory in all public places, both indoor and outdoor.
Can I still transit at Istanbul to obtain a PCR test for my destination country that requires one?
Yes. Thousands of people a day are using the PCR testing service at Istanbul airport to obtain proof of negative results they might need to enter a country that requires it for entry.
All in all, Turkey’s restrictions that are expected to last until the end of 2020 are not a make or break for their tourism.
It seems as if Turkey is making a deliberate effort to protect tourism above all other priorities.
Shops are still open, hotels are permitting leisure stays, and flights are still going in and out. Let’s say for example a family takes a vacation at a resort in Antalya, they might not notice any restrictions at all inside their tourism bubble.
However, with mandatory mask wearing, all stores closing in the evening, restaurants only allowing take-out, and many citizens having their movement restricted, it’s unlikely that a ‘normal’ tourist experience will be had off hotel property.
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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