Travel to Turkey: borders, PCR test, curfew, info for this winter

If Turkey is one of the favorite destinations of the French, it is because it brings together cultural, natural and historical attractions.

Travel to Turkey: borders, PCR test, curfew, info for this winter

If Turkey is one of the favorite destinations of the French, it is because it brings together cultural, natural and historical attractions. What are the conditions for traveling to Turkey this winter and the sanitary measures put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19?

[Updated on December 3, 2021 at 4:51 p.m.] From June 1, 2021, it is again possible to travel to Turkey, under certain conditions. Great news, then, for travelers planning to spend their summer holidays in Turkey. It will nevertheless be necessary to respect a certain number of sanitary measures, specially put in place to limit the spread of the virus between different countries. Travelers to Turkey will either need to be vaccinated or present a PCR test less than 72 hours old or an antigen test less than 48 hours old.

Travelers wishing to visit Turkey are required to complete a form from the Ministry of Health and submit it to local authorities within 72 hours of their trip. The form is available online and can be presented to the airline when boarding. At the same time, passengers bound for Turkey can be subjected to a PCR test directly at the airport. They are then entitled to continue their journey pending the results. Finally, temperature checks may also be carried out randomly at the airport. All these control measures are primarily intended to deter people showing symptoms from traveling, and to limit the transmission of the virus on Turkish territory.

As long as they are able to provide a negative test or a vaccination certificate, European nationals are not required to quarantine on arrival. Only travelers coming from South Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or having stayed in the last 14 days in these countries must respect a quarantine 14 days from their arrival, in a place chosen by the authorities. The end of quarantine is conditional on a negative PCR test carried out on the last day. People identified as contact cases and people positive for Covid are also required to quarantine for 14 days from their arrival on Turkish territory.

To reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 on their territory, many countries have taken the decision to impose quarantine on their own citizens, when they leave the national territory and then return there. In France, a quarantine is imposed on French citizens coming from high-risk areas. They must then isolate themselves for 10 days and undergo a PCR test. However, this is not the case for vaccinated travelers returning from Turkey, who will simply have to undergo a random PCR test. Unvaccinated people will have to self-isolate for 7 days.

Many studies have shown that the contagiousness of the virus increases when crowds take place late at night, when barrier gestures and the wearing of masks are less respected than during the day. This is the reason why many countries around the world have taken the decision to establish a curfew, namely the more or less long time during which the population is invited to stay at home, except in the event of a compelling reason. On May 17, 2021, the lifting of the containment allowed Turkey to return to a semblance of normal life. However, the curfew is still in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and all day Sunday from 10 p.m. on Saturday to 5 a.m. on Monday.

To limit the spread of the virus, Turkey has put in place travel restrictions on its territory. During the hours of curfew, it is impossible to move from town to town without obtaining a prior travel authorization as long as this travel is done by car. Hotel reservations and public transport tickets (bus, plane, train) allow you to be exempted from this authorization. Public transport, apart from planes, is also limited to 50% of its capacity.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are once again open to customers from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and even until midnight for delivery services. Grocery stores can open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and shopping centers from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The markets have again the right to be organized all week from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Sunday. Sports halls, outdoor swimming pools, cinemas and amusement parks have reopened all week except Sunday, in compliance with certain health rules. On Sunday, curfew day, only essential local businesses are allowed to open their doors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The beaches are one of the best reasons to travel to Turkey. How, indeed, not to appreciate the expanses of white sand and turquoise sea of ​​the beaches of Kaputaş, İztuzu or Patar? These three examples perfectly illustrate all the beauty of the Turkish coastline. And it would be a real shame to deprive yourself of it... But what are the sanitary conditions and the rules to be respected to enjoy Turkish beaches in the summer of 2021? Good news for lovers of idleness, Turkish beaches remain open to the public. However, certain sanitary conditions must be respected, such as a social distance of four meters between each group or the wearing of a mask when traveling (except for swimming). These restrictions could be removed depending on the latest figures from the country.

All Turkish airports are open again to the delight of locals and travelers. For the summer of 2021, airlines usually serving Turkey are expected to continue their services. For example, it will be possible to take a Turkish Airlines, SunExpress, Borajet, Corendon Airlines or Pegasus Airlines plane. Air France has also announced that it has reinforced its flight schedule in order to cope with a number of requests that are likely to be large. For domestic routes, the Turkish airline Turkish Airlines has recently resumed its usual flight connections. By plane, it will be necessary to respect the health instructions throughout the journey, namely the wearing of a mask at all times as well as the necessary social distancing.