Turkey Safe Travel Guide During COVID-19 (updated)
Ever since the widespread outbreak of Covid-19, almost all countries worldwide, including Turkey, have been putting efforts to halt its national and international reach and consequently diminish its disastrous impact.
Travel bans from one country to another were introduced, and people were asked to stay at home unless in case of emergencies. Now, with things being under more control and people are taking all precautions to remain safe, countries started to open their borders again and regain their normality.
While traveling again after a long time being locked down is delightful news, both governments and people are well aware that Coronavirus still presents a real danger to our daily lives. Therefore, safety measures and certain restrictions are a must to prevent any further implications.
In this article, we will unwrap everything you should know about COVID-19 restrictions, entry requirements, and other useful tips that you should tick off before traveling to Turkey.
If you’re traveling to Turkey during the pandemic, it’s necessary to be updated on rules and requirements so you won’t dash into customs matters at the airport. Here are some of the things you should be aware of.
Can I travel to Turkey?
Turkey Covid travel status wise entails that the country has reopened its borders to tourism and accepted all international visitors worldwide as long as they fulfill the Turkish immigration rules.
Borders with Iran and Syria, however, remain closed. Also, visitors coming from both Afghanistan and Bangladesh do not have permission to enter the country. You can enter Turkey without a visa or with an e-visa depending on where you come from and the purpose of your travel (leisure, work, or a layover…).
Go back to your local embassy to see if you require a visa for Turkey or not.
However, it is important to note that flight restrictions are applied by countries, according to the Turkish Airlines official page. With that said, you will need to review the Country-specific entry restrictions page to check the entry requirements for Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and other countries. You may also want to review the passport, visa, and health travel document requirements page.
Depending on the country you are coming from and the purpose of the visit, Turkey, has set entry rules that every visitor must follow. For clearer and more detailed information about entry requirements, we advise you to reach out to the local embassy of Turkey in your country or the high commission on the consulate.
It will help clarify any ambiguous information. You may also want to contact your travel agency or your airlines to ensure you got all the necessary documents to complete their requirements.
- Despite reopening its borders to international travelers, there is a high chance that it might close it again temporarily depending on the Covid-19 Status in a given period. For this reason, we recommend that you constantly check updates and announcements regarding accessibility to avoid any trouble.
- You may also want to check direct and indirect flight schedules from your home country to Turkey.
- Check if your country needs an E-Visa or Visa before coming.
- The face mask is obligatory on all travelers all the time.
- Please check the Republic of Turkey Foreign Ministry of Affairs’ official page for more regular entry requirements.
Upon your arrival in Turkey, you will be subjected to medical testing to assess if you show any Coronavirus symptoms. The Turkey travel covid test will start by evaluating your temperature and any visible symptoms, including coughing, breathing problems, and more.
In case any of these symptoms are detected, you will need to do a PCR test, also known as ‘antigen’ tests. A PCR test is a test where genetic information of the virus, the RNA, is presented. If your test is positive, you will be directed to the facility to receive medical help/ or a self-isolation period.
In this case, it will be better if your insurance covers Covid-19. The PCR test base is situated in Istanbul Airport in the arrivals hall, before Entrance 14.
Before arriving in Turkey, your airline crew might ask you to provide some personal information concerning COVID-19, which can help data compilation and research.
If any traveler is found to have the coronavirus, the responsible in the CPR testing center will use the information form to determine individuals that have been in contact with the traveler and have them undergo Turkey travel covid quarantine. The quarantine will last 14 days in an isolated room.
Traveling within the country
If you are traveling within Turkey, a HES code is required as part of the Turkey coronavirus travel rules taken to defy the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
What is HES Code?
The HES code stands for “Hayat Eve Sigar” Code (HES Kodu). It is a confidential and individual code enforced by the Ministry of Health to downsize the presence of visitors who tested positive for coronavirus or have been in touch with other positive individuals at the airport and to stop them from partaking in domestic flights. When buying a ticket for domestic flights in Turkey, it is obligatory to hold a valid HES code.
How do you get the HES code?
For Turkish Citizens, you can get your HES code by sending a text message to the following number 2023, including the following details; the notes “HES”, your Turkish Kimlik number, the final four numbers of the sequence digit of your ID, and the period time in numbers you will be traveling. The details should be separated by a single space.
For non-Turkish citizens, you can get your HES code by sending a text message to the following number 2023, including the following details; the notes “HES”, your Turkish number, birth year, and the period time in numbers you will be traveling. The details should be separated by a single space.
- Children under the age of 2 are not required to have a HES code.
- Each HES code has a validation period.
For further information about the HES program, check out this page here. There is also an FAQ section that may help answer some of your questions.
Turkey Travel Covid Insurance
Before starting your trip to Turkey, you want to make sure that you have Covid-19 Travel insurance. Not having proper travel insurance only means paying for any troubles and expenses you may encounter during your visit. This can include medical expenses, luggage, and more.
Covid19 travel insurance ensures that you travel with peace of mind. Some of the policies that can be included are:
- Canceling your travel journey if you were to show coronavirus symptoms within 14 days of travel
- Emergency international medical costs
- Cancellation and repatriation coverage in case you were tested positive and were not allowed to board
- Day-to-day advantage if you are requested to self-isolate in your vacation lodging if you have the virus
All in all, if you were to experience any symptoms of coronavirus and need assistance, the Covid-19 travel insurance will help you cover everything.
Plan for Your Trip
Nowadays, traveling can be risky. Therefore being extra careful with the destined country regulations and knowing the local authority restrictions are a must. If you are planning to travel to turkey any time soon, make sure to go through this checklist:
- Follow the recent guidance and advice of your home country.
- Stay informed with the latest news and announcements regarding Covid development in Turkey before your travel. Inscribe to Turkey travel guidance covid alerts.
- Look out for travel restrictions, screening, or quarantine conditions that might impact you upon your arrival.
- Read your airline travel guidance on essential protection measures and actions to consider when flying with them.
- Contact your hotel or lodge provider in Turkey for detailed safety measures to reduce the risks of being infected.
- Buy good travel insurance, and make sure you are satisfied with the provided coverage. The best insurance is one that covers everything from medical costs to luggage to lost items and more.
During Your Stay
Once arrived, you have to comply with travel restrictions applied by Turkey and respect travel rules imposed by the government and the ministry of health.
If, during your stay, you have shown symptoms of Covid19, you should go to the nearest local hospital and get yourself checked. In case you tested positive, you are more likely to get the necessary medical treatment until you have regained your health.
In some cases, the local authorities may demand that you stay self-isolated or quarantined for 14 days. You should respect that decision and start your isolation period right away.
Make sure to follow up and stay updated with the travel restrictions and travel ban announcements. Plan ahead of your stay any delays that may potentially take place.
If you are not feeling well or have been in touch with an actual or possible COVID-19 case in the last two weeks, do not plan any travel.
However, if you are in good health and are obliged to travel for specific reasons, keep these in mind:
- Quarantine for at least two weeks if you’re showing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Be mindful of the regional COVID-19 condition and pursue local public health guidance.
- If you need Coronavirus testing or medical care, get yourself familiar with different locations of nearby centers in your area.
- Avoid locked areas, overcrowded spaces, and close contact.
- Dodge unnecessary meetings.
- No hugs, kisses, or handshakes. Keep social distancing with everyone, if possible.
- Restrict your contact with older people or those who are undergoing some health problems.
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 25 seconds. Use your personal soap and lukewarm water.
- Use hand sanitizer that has at least 55% alcohol.
- Use a medical mask everywhere you go.
- Use a non-medical mask or cover your mouth and nose areas with your arm when you are indoors and can’t keep social distancing.
Is public transportation available in Turkey?
Public transportation in Turkey is available in Turkey. However, they are restricted to a certain capacity. This helps reduce overcrowding and maintain social distancing.
What precautions should I take while touring during the Covid-19 outbreak?
Several precautions can be considered in this aspect. However, the basic actions you should always follow consist of regular hands washing with soap and warm water and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Always wash your clothes once you come back from the outside environment. Avoid close contact and touching your skin. Wear your mask regularly in public spaces.
Are Turkish nationals over 60 years of age allowed on flights during the Covid-19?
Travel Permit Document is not requested for travelers aged 60 years and older from other countries than Turkey. Travel Permit Document is needed for Travelers over 60 ages for domestic flights.
To receive a Travel Permit, you can apply directly using the e-Government portal.
Is the HES code compulsory for international flights?
The HES code is not compulsory for international flights. It is only mandatory for domestic flights, including connecting international flights.
If I want to cancel my trip to Turkey for a certain reason, is it possible? Will I be able to get a refund?
For this, you will have to reach out to:
- Your airline
- Your accommodation provider or your travel agency
See if it is possible to get a partial refund, if not whole. If you booked a non-refundable flight ticket, you might not be able to get a refund for it. But again, contact your airline agency and talk to them about your matter, maybe there is a chance to postpone or get a full or partial refund.
What happens if my scheduled flight gets canceled?
The first thing you have to do to contact your airline or travel agency you booked with and check with the updates. With many countries introducing short notice announcements, your scheduled flights can be canceled. In this case, check if you can get a refund. If not, check if your insurance covers flight cancellation or not.
Will my travel insurance include Covid-19 coverage and flight cancellations?
It depends on your travel insurance policy. Reach out to your insurance provider for further details on this matter.
What are the symptoms and intricacies that COVID-19 can induce?
People who tested positive with the coronavirus have briefed a broad scope of symptoms – from mild symptoms to intense conditions. In fact, some of the symptoms can occur starting from the 3rd day after being exposed to Coronavirus, including high fever, coughing, shortness in breathing, tiredness, and more.
There are other symptoms besides these mentioned. If you experience any of these symptoms, please visit your local medical facility.