(CNN) – If you are planning to travel to Turkey, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
After suffering a major spike in cases in the first half of 2021, which led to a 17-day lockdown at the end of April, Turkey has started to ease restrictions. Many places are now open normally, but access to sites and transport requires proof of vaccination or a negative test.
What’s on offer
With thriving cities, spectacular ancient ruins and monuments, and landscapes ready to be explored – along with spectacular beaches – Turkey has long been a favorite among tourists looking for an idyllic summer getaway.
Who can go
Anyone can travel to Turkey, although some have restrictions. Those who have traveled to Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka in the 14 days prior to travel will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.
Passengers from Afghanistan and Pakistan are subject to a 10-day quarantine, while arrivals from the UK, Egypt, Iran and Singapore must undergo mandatory testing before entering the country . See below for more details.
In response to the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variation, Turkey has banned arrivals from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
What are the restrictions?
All arrivals must submit a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure, unless they have a certificate that they have been vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival. Visitors from certain countries may also be able to show proof of a negative rapid antigen test.
All Turkish airports carry out random testing. Passengers can get to their destination after being tested, but anyone who tests positive must quarantine themselves for 14 days at the specified address, along with their close contacts. This can be completed if a negative result is returned on day 10 – local authorities will deal with it on site.
Children under six are not required to submit vaccine tests or information, while transit passengers are also exempt.
What is the situation of the Covid?
The death toll in Turkey stands at 76,446, with more than 8.7 million recorded cases. After a difficult first year, the situation has improved markedly following a number of strict closures and restrictions on socialization, although the numbers rose again in July. It has fully vaccinated nearly 60% of the population as of November 29.
What can visitors expect?
After enduring closures and curfews, Turkey is returning to relative normalcy. Shops are now, like cafes and restaurants, unrestricted. Entry to more crowded venues such as theaters, cinemas or concerts will require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test performed 48 hours before the event. In most cases, for non-residents, a printed copy of a vaccination certificate should suffice.
It is still forbidden to smoke in open public places.
Nighttime curfews and Sunday closures have now been lifted and cafes and restaurants can serve an unlimited number
Museums have reopened, although mask wear, social distancing and hygiene measures remain in place.
Using public transport, including buses, trains and planes, will also require proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 48 hours of travel. Capacity may be reduced on some services and passengers must wear a mask.