As of September 30, 2020, the Government of Turkey requires everyone living in Turkey to present a Hayat Eve Sigar (HES) code while staying in hotels, using inner city public transport, and at inter-city bus travel rest stops. Some airlines are also requiring a HES code for residents and foreign travelers attempting to purchase airline tickets for domestic and/or international travel. See instructions below in Transportation Options, and for specific questions please follow up directly with your airline, hotel, transportation company and/or travel agent.
COVID-19 Information for Turkey
Turkey has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
On September 8, the Turkish Interior Ministry issued a notice to the public regarding new COVID restrictions/guidance. Violators will be issued fines. The new restrictions are as follows:
- Face masks must be worn in public (e.g., streets, gardens, workplaces, etc.) at all times in all 81 provinces of Turkey.
- Standing passengers will not be allowed in urban public transportation vehicles where physical distance rules cannot be applied.
- The playing of live music at restaurants and cafes after midnight is forbidden.
- Turkish Citizens and residents under the age of 18 will be able to go out any time, in the company of a parent. This does not apply to foreign tourists.
- Turkish Citizens and residents above the age of 65 will be able to go out every day, between 10:00-20:00. Several provinces, including Ankara and Izmir, have implemented new restrictions on people 65 years and older. These measures include limiting the hours per day those individuals are allowed outside, limiting their use of public transportation, and prohibiting the elderly from attending large events such as weddings, market places, and shopping centers. This does not apply to foreign tourists.
- Turkish Citizens and residents over 65 can travel within Turkey by obtaining a permit from the Ministry of the Interior. This does not apply to foreign tourists.
- As of September 21, 2020, some schools have resumed classes with a mix of in-class and distance learning/online courses. Please check with your institution for specific information.
- All individuals must wear cloth face coverings where people are collectively located, including supermarkets, marketplaces, hair salons, shopping malls, and workplaces as well as in all forms of transportation (including private vehicles) with at least two persons inside.
- Local authorities may put in place additional COVID-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice.
Foreign passengers who test positive for COVID-19 on landing flights will be referred to a private hospital by the Ministry of Health – Border Health Unit, whereas Turkish passengers will be referred to a state hospital.
PCR testing for foreigners is limited to those who have symptoms or those who may have an entry requirement back to their home country. Testing is paid for by the traveler.
Buses, ferries, and trains are operating but there are limits to passenger capacity on buses and all passengers must wear a mask.
Note that airlines and airports have implemented new procedures for travelers, and passengers must comply with these to travel. For example, masks must be worn in the airport and on airplanes, and arriving passengers are subject to health checks and PCR tests.