COVID-19 Information

Last Updated: December 2, 2020 

New Updates: 

  • Effective Tuesday, December 1, a general curfew is in effect every weeknight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Effective Friday, December 4, weekend curfews begin at 9 p.m. Friday continuing through 5 a.m. Monday.
  • Individuals aged 65 and older and those 20 and younger are not permitted to use public transportation.
    Exceptions

    • During the weekend curfew supermarkets, green grocers, bakeries, and butchers will be open from 10:00 until 17:00. With the exception of age groups 65 and over and 20 and under (who remain on more restricted curfews), individuals may shop for their essential needs at the closest store within walking distance (driving is not allowed).
    • Production, manufacturing, supply chains, and health workers are exempt from the weekday and weekend curfews.
    • Intercity travel during weekday and weekend curfews hours listed above, is only authorized under at least one of the following exigent or mandatory circumstances, for persons who:
    • Have been discharged from hospital and are returning to their residence of origin.
    • Have medical appointments referred by a doctor’s report.
    • Need to attend the funeral of a deceased first-degree relative (i.e., father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter) or to accompany the transfer of remains (maximum four people).
    • Have come to a given city within the last five days but do not have a place to stay and want to return to their place of residence (must have valid travel ticket, vehicle license plate, or other documents showing their travel, and information).
    • Will attend exams announced by Ministry of Education or other central exams.
    • Have completed military service and are returning to their residence of origin.
    • Are undertaking new private or public work opportunities.
    • Have been released from penal institutions
  • All education/training activities for preschool and kindergarten are suspended.
  • Restaurants are operating on a delivery-only basis between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • An HES code—available through a smartphone app—will be required to enter shopping malls. [Please see information below on getting a HES code.]
  • Swimming pools, Turkish baths, saunas, massage parlors, and amusement parks are closed.
  • Turkish authorities will take measures to limit the number of people in crowded areas.

Country-Specific Information: 

  • Turkey has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • Dining establishments such as restaurants, patisseries, cafes, and cafeterias will no longer be open for in-person dining and will be offering delivery services between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Shopping malls, supermarkets, barbers and hairdressers will only be open for service during the hours of 10:00-20:00   
  • Movie theaters, soccer fields, coffee houses, tea gardens, internet/electronic game halls, billiard halls, hookah lounges, Turkish baths, saunas, massage salons, swimming pools, and amusement parks are closed. 
  • All education and training activities for public schools will continue via distance education. Parents of school age children in private daycares and pre-schools should contact their respective schools for specific information on how this restriction impacts their institution. 
  • Foreigners in the country temporarily for tourism are exempt from curfews and travel permit requirements.
  • Hospital dining establishments are not subject to the restrictions and will be open.
  • Restaurants in hotels/accommodation facilities will be open; however, they will be available for hotel guests only.
  • Dining establishments within the airport will be open but limited to travelers only.
  • Individuals with hotel reservations can travel in their private vehicles without obtaining any additional permission, provided they carry with them their accommodation/travel reservation document.
  • Smoking in public spaces is banned.
  • Please see Turkish Ministry of Interior’s circular for more information.

Entry and Exit Requirements: 

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter Turkey?
    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?
    Yes. 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 or to a dormitory to self-isolate. 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. 
  • 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. Please see the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website for information about how to obtain visas for this purpose.
  • Residency permit information is available at Turkish Ministry of Interior’s website

Movement Restrictions: 

  • Is a curfew in place? Not for foreign tourists, but the following applies to Turkish citizens and residents, effective 20:00, November 20:
  • Turkish citizens and residents age 65 and older are restricted to their place of residence, and only allowed outside between 10:00-13:00.
  • Turkish citizens and residents age 20 and below are only allowed outside during the hours of 13:00-16:00.
  • As of Friday, December 4, Turkish citizens and residents are subject to a weekend curfew beginning 9 p.m. on Friday, continuing through 5 a.m. on Monday. Travel outside of the house is limited to individuals between the ages of 20 and 65, who are obtaining basic food items, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Additionally, there is a nightly curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Production, manufacturing, supply chains, and health workers are exempt from this weekend curfew.

Exceptions to the Weekend Curfew include:   

  • ​Turkish Airlines and Pegasus announced Turkish citizen and resident customers with purchased tickets, can travel to the airport for flights regardless of curfew restrictions.  We refer you to the airlines for further information. Individuals should be prepared to show tickets (paper, or on mobile devices) at vehicle checkpoints.
  • Workplace, businesses and institutions          
    • Public and private health institutions and organizations, pharmacies, veterinary clinics, and animal hospitals   
    • Public institutions and organizations and enterprises required for the maintenance of compulsory public services (Airports, ports, border gates, customs, highways, nursing homes, elderly nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, Emergency Call Centers, etc.)    
    • Companies engaged in domestic and international transportation and logistics  
    • Animal shelters, animal farms and animal care centers   
    • Vegetable and fruit wholesale markets   
    • Fuel stations and tire repair centers: those that may remain open during curfews will be determined by the Governors of each province. NOTE: At this time, we do not have information on which stations and centers will remain open. 
  •  Turkish citizen and residents
    • Those assigned to ensure public order and security (including private security officers)   
    • Those who maintain or repair infrastructure systems for electricity, water, natural gas, telecommunications, and other utilities.
    • Technical service employees, provided they document that they are out to provide service.   
    • Those with a mandatory health appointment   
    • Veterinarians   
    • Those with special needs, and their parents/guardian/accompanying persons.  
    • Those who go out to meet the compulsory needs to their pets, provided that it is limited to the front of their residence.   
    • Drivers and officers of urban public transportation vehicles, including taxis.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? 
    Yes, Intercity travel permits are required for Turkish citizens and residents aged 65 and over Please apply for an intercity travel permit by calling 199 or apply through the e-devlet system here: https://www.turkiye.gov.tr/. When calling 199 for an intercity travel permit, prepare to share the following relevant information: 

    • Name of person requesting the permit 
    • Mobile number 
      (you will receive a text in Turkish that your travel permit has been issued) 
    • Kimlik number  
    • Travel dates 
    • Mode of transportation  (if via private vehicle, provide the vehicle license plate number) 
    • Reason for travel
  • Turkish citizen and resident children under the age of 20 are able to travel within the city and intercity during restricted hours without seeking any travel permit, provided that their parent/guardian is with them.  
  • Turkish citizen and resident children under the age of 20 may travel to and from caregivers during the restricted curfew hours.

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.  Passengers should check with airlines for up-to-date schedules, work with them to address flight changes, and be prepared for possible cancelations. Passengers should also carefully review transit information and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) landing requirements when booking connecting flights to the United States from Turkey. 
  • Given the strict travel and transit restrictions in the Schengen Zone, U.S. citizens who wish to transit via the Schengen Zone must have onward tickets to the U.S., and meet the Schengen Zone and U.K. exceptions as passengers in transit.  
  • Some of the more common transit hubs for direct flights to the U.S. are Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris. For information on travel restrictions and transit regulations, please visit the relevant U.S. Embassy website in the country in which you will be transiting. Additionally, the European Union has created a website for researching transit and travel restrictions for all E.U. countries.  
  • U.S. citizens traveling via passenger airplane are now able to enter the U.S. via any port of entry. For more information, please review the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement 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. 
  • Is public transportation operating?
    Yes. Buses, ferries, and trains are operating but there are limits to passenger capacity on buses and all passengers must wear a mask.
     
  • 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 guidance.
  • Turkey lifted the ban on importing and exporting of pets as of May 1, 2020. We refer you to the airline websites for more specific details.
  • 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 COVID-19 outbreak. These restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • Please see the 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.   
  • The Government of Turkey requires everyone traveling in Turkey to present a Hayat Eve Sigar (HES) code All persons must request a HES (Hayat Eve Sigar) Code for domestic and international flights, while staying in hotels, using inner city public transport, and at inter-city bus travel rest stops.  This does not apply to foreign tourists.
  • Information on how to obtain this HES code is available at Hayat Eve Sigar web portal. The procedure is as follows:

    FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TURKISH CITIZENSHIP: Send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes:
    — the letters “HES”
    — your Turkish Kimlik number
    — the last four digits of the series number of your ID
    — the number of days you will be traveling, (we recommend adding 7 days as a safeguard)
    NOTE:  Put a single space between each item (e.g., HES 1234567 1234 09).

    FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT TURKISH CITIZENS BUT ARE RESIDENTS AND POSSES A KIMLIK: Send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes:
    — the letters “HES”
    — your Kimlik number
    — your year of birth
    — the number of days you will be traveling (we recommend adding 7 days as a safeguard)
    NOTE:  Put a single space between each item (e.g., HES 1234567 1972 14).
  • On November 12, the government announced that obligatory HES codes are required for entering Usak and Zonguldak provinces.
  • Airlines also have information on their websites in English about the HES code including:
    Turkish Airlines
    SunExpress
    Pegasus
  • 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.  

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, 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: 

Local Resources: 

Other Links: