COVID-19 Information

Last Updated: September 23, 2020 

New Updates: 

No new updates.

Country Specific Information: 

  • 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.
  • All onsite classes at primary, middle and high schools and universities (public and private) are closed. As of June 1, kindergartens, daycares, and summer camps have opened, but require social distancing and restrict the number of people who can enter. Please check with the individual institution for their particular restrictions.
  • 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.

Entry and Exit Requirements: 

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes  
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No, unless you show symptoms for COVD-19 then a PCR test will be administered. 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? COVID-19 control measures for air, land, and sea travel continue. Passengers arriving in Turkey will be required to complete an information form and will be checked for symptoms. Anyone suspected of having COVID-19 will be transported to a hospital for examination. If an individual on a particular aircraft/vehicle/vessel is found to have COVID-19, the information forms completed upon arrival will be used to identify others have been in contact with them; those individuals will then be subject to 14-day isolation/quarantine. 
  • On June 11, Turkey announced opening the majority of its international air, land, and sea borders. The land border with Iran remains closed.  The border with Syria remains closed.  
  • To date, tourist travelers do not need any specific health documentation to enter/exit Turkey unless they are arriving for medical treatment.
  • Medical tourism travelers will need a medical visa and specific health documentation to enter Turkey for medical tourism. Please see Turkish MFA’s website for information about how to obtain visas for this purpose: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/general-information-about-turkish-visas.en.mfa.  
  • Residency permit information is available at https://en.goc.gov.tr/ 

Movement Restrictions: 

  • Is a curfew in place? Not for foreign tourists, but local authorities may put in place additional COVID-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice. 
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or inter province travel? No 

Quarantine Information: 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No, but 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. 

COVID-19 Testing: 

  • 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. 

Transportation Options: 

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.  Please check airlines for schedules and work with the airline to address flight changes.  Passengers should be prepared for possible cancelations.  Please look at transit information carefully when booking connecting flights to the United States from Turkey, and CBP landing requirements: https://www.cbp.gov/travel.S. citizens in transit can book these flights on routes back to the U.S., as long as they have onward tickets to the U.S and continue to meet the Schengen and U.K. exceptions as passengers in transit. U.S. citizens should research their transit options prior to purchasing tickets. In all cases, U.S. citizens must purchase tickets for onward travel to the United States. See the U.S. Embassy website in the country you will be transiting for information on travel restrictions and transit regulations. Some of the most common transit hubs for direct flights to the U.S. have been Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris, so we have provided those links below.  The European Union has created a website (https://reopen.europa.eu/en) for researching transit and travel restrictions for all EU countries, and that link can also be found below.  
  • See below for links to airlines and airports. 
  • Is public transportation operating? 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. Please check airport and airline websites for more information and specific regulations:  
  • Turkey lifted the ban on importing and exporting of pets as of 1 May. We refer you to the airline websites for specifics.
  • Please note: There are a series of Presidential Proclamations related to the suspension of entry of certain additional persons who pose the risk of transmitting the Novel Corona virus. These restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • Please see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/presidential-proclamation-coronavirus.html and our U.S. Embassy immigrant visa page and the non-immigrant visa page for further information if you are a visa holder seeking entry to the United States. 
  • We remind U.S. Citizens flying to the United States that they may only enter via CDC-approved airports and should follow COVID-19 restrictions in place at their final destination. Air travelers are advised to include their travel document (Passport/I-551) information in their reservations to help ensure they do not encounter issues when boarding their flights. A list of approved airports along with arrival information for international travelers entering the United States is available here:https://www.dhs.gov/coronavirus/protecting-air-travelers-and-american-public .  
  • Turkish citizens and residents must request a HES (Hayat Eve Sigar) Code for domestic and international flights, train and ferry travel.  This does not apply to foreign tourists. 
  • Information on how to obtain this code is available at this site: https://hayatevesigar.saglik.gov.tr/hes.html. The procedure is as follows:
    – IF YOU HAVE A TURKISH RESIDENT ID: Send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes (a) the letters “HES”, (b) your Turkish kimlik number (c) your year of birth, and (d) the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days. Put a single space between each item. 
    – IF YOU HAVE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP: Send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes (a) the letters “HES”, (b) your Turkish kimlik number (c) the last four digits of the series number of your ID, and (d) surname, the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days should be used. Put a single space between each item.  
  • Airlines also have information on their websites in English about the HES code, including:
    – SunExpresshttps://www.sunexpress.com/en/hes/
    – Turkish Airlines: https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/hes-code/  
    – Pegasus: https://www.flypgs.com/hes-kodu-nedir-nasil-alinir  
  • If you require financial assistance through the U.S. Government’s repatriation loan program please review the Department of State’s information on emergency financial assistance and contact us.  

Commercial Airline Website Links:  

Transit Information:  

Fines for non-compliance:  

We understand that a fine of 900 TL will be imposed on those who do not comply with the requirement. Similar to a traffic fine, these fines will be mailed to the individual’s home address, and be payable only at the following government-affiliated banks: Halk Bank, Vakif Bank and Ziraat Bank.

Consular Operations: 

  • We are offering limited routine services to American Citizens, prioritizing repatriation loan assistance, passport and Consular report of Birth Abroad services, and limited notarial appointments. Please see information at the following link for more information: American Citizen Services Unit  
  • We are offering limited, emergency in-person services for immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications. Please see information at the following links for more information: 
  • Non-Immigrant visa
  • Immigrant visa 

Local Resources: 

Other links: