Coronavirus : Steps to know before your trip
(Article updated on January, 24)
Covid-19 in Turkey and the tourism crisis:
The Covid-19 crisis has had a huge impact on the tourism sector, which is often on the front lines! In Turkey, we can say that we are used to this type of crisis in the tourism sector, the political events, attacks of 2016 and 2017 have stopped tourist flows for almost two years and have contributed to building our resilience!
The crises end up passing, just arm yourself with patience, indeed in 2019 after a few difficult years we beat all our attendance records.
At present in Istanbul, all restrictions have been lifted, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hammams are open, life has resumed its course!
Tourism is also beginning to pick up, energy is back, and we are always happy to make you discover Istanbul through our articles and our visits. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How to travel to Turkey:
PCR and antigen tests:
When entering Turkey from countries not included in the following list: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, vaccinated persons who received at least two doses of vaccine (one dose for Johnson & Johnson) within 14 days prior to entering Turkey or those with COVID-19 within the last 6 months who can produce a healing certificate and whose first PCR test with a positive result is at least 28 days old can enter Turkey. Below this time, a negative PCR test (72 hours prior to the arrival to the arrival of their inbound flight to Turkey) or a negative antigenic test (48 hours prior to the arrival to the arrival of their inbound flight to Turkey) will be required.
Vaccinated persons are those who have received the two injections of a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency for at least 7 days: Moderna, BioNTech Pfizer or Astra Zeneca) or who have received an injection of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for at least 28 days).
In case of failure to submit a vaccination certificate or documents indicating that the passenger had COVID-19 disease, it shall be deemed adequate to submit a PCR test taken 72 hours prior to the arrival of their inbound flight to Turkey or an antigen test result within 48 hours prior to the arrival of their inbound flight.
Some countries also require a negative PCR test on the return. This PCR test can be carried out in hospitals or laboratories authorized by the State, but it is also possible to do it at the airport (for the city of Istanbul, Istanbul-İGA International Airport, and Sabiha Gökçen Airport are concerned). It is strongly advised to go there 5 hours in advance knowing that the results are delivered up to 3 hours and that it will be necessary to do the check-in before the return flight.
In Turkey, the price of the PCR test is 250 Turkish Lira or less than 20 Euros. Payments by credit card or cash are accepted.
List of laboratories offering the PCR test: https://istanbul.consulfrance.org/Liste-des-laboratoires-proposant-le-test-PCR
As part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Turkish authorities announced that effective Monday, September 6, it will be mandatory to submit a vaccination certificate, a certificate attesting to the recovery of Covid-19, or a negative PCR test of less than 48 hours for intercity flights, buses, and trains.
Form for entry to Turkey:
From now on, all passengers aged 6 and over traveling to Turkey will have to complete a new online form. The form must be filled in within the last 72 hours before travel.
According to the message given by the Turkish Ministry of Health (the source of this new measure), by filling in the form, “a HES code is automatically generated”; thus “Turkish authorities will be able to contact travelers who come into contact with a person positive for COVID-19 directly during their flight or during their trip to the country”.
Link for the online form: https://register.health.gov.tr/
The conditions required for public transport:
To facilitate the monitoring and management of the health crisis, the Turkish authorities have developed a “Hayat Eve Sığar” (HES) code.
Thus, if you want to take public transport (bus, metro, ferry, tram, etc.) during your stay in Turkey, you will need a transport ticket (Istanbul Kart for the city of Istanbul, strictly individual) and a HES code.
For intercity transport (planes, buses, sea shuttles, etc.), a reservation, a transport ticket, and a HES code are required.
Online form which automatically generates a HES code before traveling to Turkey: https://register.health.gov.tr/
Activate the HES code on the Istanbul Kart: https://kisisellestirme.istanbulkart.istanbul/
To read our article on public transport in Istanbul: Click here.
For more information before your trip, do not hesitate to consult the official websites of the consulates and embassies of your country in Turkey:
- France: Istanbul.consulfrance.org
- Belgium: turkey.diplomatie.belgium.be
- Switzerland: https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/turkey/fr/home/representations/ambassade/consulat-general.html
- Canada: https://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/turkey-turquie/
- USA: https://tr.usembassy.gov/
- UK: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-consulate-general-istanbul