What to expect when travelling to Turkey this year post-COVID

Turkey is a popular summer hotspotfor many Brits and it’s obvious why, with the culturally diverse locations onoffer, with influences from the Mediterranean, Middle East, the Balkans andCentral Asia. Whether you’re looking to dive into the culture, catch a few raysor go on a foodie tour, Turkey has more than first meets the eye.

If you’re heading on a holiday toTurkey this year or looking to plan one, here is what to expect when travellingto Turkey year post-COVID.


Travelling to Turkey

Traffic light system

Before you’re planning to head off onyour Turkey trip, you’ll need to see where it is on the new traffic lightsystem for international travel. From May 17th, the internationaltravel rule has been relaxed. The traffic light system has been introduced to knowwhich countries you’re able to visit and what regulations are in place beforeyou go, whilst you’re there and when you return home.

At the time of travel, see whereTurkey is on the list. If Turkey is on the red or amber list, there will beregulations put in place when you return to the UK, including quarantine andtesting. If on the green list, you should be able to travel freely withoutquarantine on return but a vaccine may be needed, it depends on what thecountry’s requirements are at the time of travel.

It’s important to be aware of what you’re covered for and of the quarantine measures on your return home before departing to an amber or red listed country. At Holidaysafe, we will provide some cover under our policies for customers travelling to amber countries and territories providing they are not travelling against the advice of the FCDO. For more information, visit our Coronavirus Travel Insurance page.

Rules and restrictions in place onarrival

Travellers of all nationalities should be able to enter Turkey as long as they’re in line with the immigration regulations which you can find out more information on here. It’s recommended to travellers to be mindful that rules are constantly under review and changing what is allowed and what isn’t.

Turkey’s borders are currently open to all tourists. There are some countries who have travel restrictions when travelling to Turkey but for most nationalities including the UK, you can follow the usual procedure of applying for an e-visa as long as you meet the requirements. The countries that have restrictions need to quarantine on arrival.

Before entering, there are a couple of things you need to do. Firstly, you’ll need to complete a ‘Traveller Entry Form’ 4 days before you enter the country. Children under 6 are exempt from doing this. The form will include your contact details such as where you’re staying in Turkey. The ‘Form for Entry to Turkey’ will need to be completed online and shown before you get on your flight to Turkey and upon your arrival to the country.

From May 16th, you willnot need to take a PCR test (and negative COVID result/Fit to Fly certificate)to fly to Turkey when travelling from the UK. However, this may change and it’sworthwhile checking a week before you fly as the test will need to be done 72hours before your flight.

On arrival at the airport, there willbe general medical checks including temperature control. And, if you do testpositive, the authorities will take you to a medical facility for treatment.

Restrictions in place for tourists out and about

The Turkish authorities have put many rules and restrictionsin place to keep the country safe for tourists and locals, and it’s importantto be mindful of these. Facemasks are mandatory when you’re out and aboutincluding in the streets, parks and on public transport. Restaurants and cafeshave a curfew and are only open for delivery between 10am and 8pm, and hotelrestaurants are open to guests only. Supermarkets, shopping malls, hairdressersand barbers are also open from 10am to 8pm. The entertainment facilities suchas pools, Turkish baths, cinemas, saunas and amusement bars are closed.

In terms of curfews, none are put in place for foreignerstravelling to the country. However, residents and citizens have the followingcurfews: on weekdays, 9pm to 5am and on weekends 9pm to 5am on Friday and onMonday.

Travelling safe in Turkey

When you’re travelling around Turkey, it’s important to be mindful of others and practise safety measures. This includes sanitising regularly, avoiding contact with those who are unwell, not visiting crowded events and wearing face masks. And, if you’re experiencing symptoms you must contact the doctors immediately or speak to your GP service.

Travelling back to the UK

Restrictions when you arrive back in the UK:

Green list

Returning home from Turkey can have a few implications,depending on where Turkey is on the traffic light system at your time oftravel. If Turkey is on the green list, here are the things you need to do:

It’s also important to be aware, if the rules change whenyou’re away and the country gets moved onto the amber/red list or if you travelthrough a country on that list (in terms of stopovers), you’ll need to followthe amber or red list rules on arrival.

Amber list

If Turkey is on the amber list before you set off or changeswhilst you’re away, the restrictions are slightly stricter than countries onthe green list. Before heading home to the UK, here are a few things you needto do:

Red list

The red list needs to have more caution and the mostpreparation before your trip and here are the things you need to do:

All information correct at the time of writing andpublishing 20th May 2021. For up to date information, visit the governmentwebsite.

If you’re heading to Turkey soon and need protection foryour trip, find the right travelinsurance policy for you.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.