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Entering Turkey has become much easier from June 1, 2021, as the Turkish government removes the need for PCR tests for those who can prove they are fully vaccinated.
Essentially, any country can visit Turkey for non-essential travel and tourism, but as of the end of 2020 all passengers must bring a negative 72-hour PCR test to enter.
Since Turkey has successfully reversed its third wave in recent weeks, the government is keen to expand safe entry means for travelers to restart the summer tourist season. The number of new daily cases fell below 7,000 this week for the first time since February.
Proof of vaccination to skip the test
As of June 1, 2021, passengers in most countries can now prove they are fully vaccinated, with at least 14 days after receiving the last shot, instead of the PCR test requirement.
The new immunization exemption applies to almost every country in the world, but some countries with high-risk variants will not be included.
The countries most at risk include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Passengers from these countries can still enter, but with a 72-hour PCR test and a 14-day government-approved quarantine.
Medium risk countries include: United Kingdom, Iran, Egypt and Singapore. Passengers from these countries will still be required to submit a negative 72-hour PCR test, even if they are fully vaccinated.
All other countries are now considered low 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 low risk countries (any country not listed in the paragraph above) may also show evidence of recent recovery from the virus instead of vaccination or the 72 hour PCR test. Proof of recovery documents include a positive PCR test dated 14 to 180 days after arrival, as well as a certificate from a medical professional showing the passenger has now fully recovered from the virus.
To sum up, 90% of countries in the world can now enter Turkey by choosing one of the following entry requirements:
- 72 hour negative PCR test
- Proof of vaccination, with 14 days since the last shot
- Proof of recovery which includes a positive test from 14 to 180 days, as well as a certificate of recovery.
Turkey began testing entry based on proof of vaccination throughout May, as it allowed vaccinated residents of Hungary and Serbia to enter without testing. Turkey has also tested the vaccine entry on its own citizens, allowing vaccinated Turkish residents to return home without the need for PCR testing. Due to the success of the tests in May, Turkey has now extended the program to vaccinated passengers around the world.
Although the Turkish government has not yet specified which vaccines are approved for entry, it is assumed that the Big 4 (Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J and Pfizer) as well as 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
In addition to easier entry requirements, more internal covid restrictions were removed on June 1, 2021.
Restaurants can now accommodate limited tables for indoor dining, with table service hours extended from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and home / hotel delivery until midnight. The malls will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the week, and other businesses like cinemas, spas, and gymnasiums may be operating at 50% capacity. Hotels and resorts have already been open and operational for months, with most services available to customers.
However, full closures are still scheduled for every Sunday, and while this does not apply to the movement of foreign tourists, most local businesses will be closed.
Turkey entry requirements
For details on all requirements for entry to Turkey (including electronic visas, passenger forms, and other important information), please see our frequently updated guide: Turkey: COVID-19 entry requirements for international travelers
Countries open to vaccinated travelers: the complete list
Countries with no travel restrictions or entry requirements
Covid-19 Travel Insurance – Everything You Need to Know
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and / or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and / or any change in travel conditions before traveling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice
sources: Turkish Airlines