COVID-19 Information

Updated: July 9, 2020

New Updates:

  • 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.
  • 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 . We also remind U.S. citizens planning travel into and out of Turkey with stops in the European Union (EU) to check specific country restrictions on the EU website: https://reopen.europa.eu/en

Country Specific Information:

  • Turkey has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • People under the age of 18 will be able to go out any time, in the company of a parent.
  • People above the age of 65 will be able to go out every day, between 10:00-20:00.
  • Persons over 65 will now be able to travel within Turkey by obtaining a permit from the Ministry of the Interior.
  • The wearing of masks has become mandatory in all public areas in Adıyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Amasya, Ankara, Ardahan, Aydın, Balıkesir, Bartın, Batman, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Çanakkale, Denizli, Diyarbakır, Düzce, Elazığ, Erzurum, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Iğdır, Isparta, İstanbul, İzmir, Kahramanmaraş, Karabük, Kayseri, Kırklareli, Kocaeli, Konya, Kütahya, Malatya, Mardin, Muğla, Muş, Nevşehir, Rize, Osmaniye, Sakarya, Şanlıurfa, Siirt, Sivas, Şırnak, Tokat, Tunceli, Uşak, Yalova, and Zonguldak. 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. For Turkey’s remaining provinces, citizens are required to wear masks in venues such as shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, cafés, and hairdressers.
  • U.S. citizens who seek to travel to the United States should book commercial options as the U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Turkey at this time. Limited international commercial flight options exist in Turkey. U.S. citizens who choose not to make commercial arrangements should be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
  • For information related to available flights, please see the section below on International Commercial Flight Information. When buying a ticket, U.S. citizens should verify any transit country’s entry requirements before booking.
  • Turkish citizens and residents must request a HES (Hayat Eve Sigar) Code for domestic and international flights, train and ferry travel.  Foreigners and passengers in transit are not required to have a HES code.  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:
    – SunExpress: https://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 here.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • On June 11, Turkey announced opening the majority of its international air, land, and sea borders.  The border with Iran remains closed.  The border with Syria remains closed.  
  • We understand that Turkish Ministry of Health officials will screen travelers at airports and maritime ports, as well as some land crossings, using thermal cameras; and travelers with temperatures will be subject to public health requirements, which may include mandatory hospital stay and/or testing that results in hospital 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 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.  
  • According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey will not pursue overstay penalties against foreign nationals unable to depart due to COVID-19, as long as you depart Turkey within one month of the international border opening date.  We understand this to mean you will not be fined if you leave Turkey by July 11, 2020. You may need to show immigration officials evidence of your inability to depart, such as a canceled flight reservation. Residency permit information is available at https://en.goc.gov.tr/ 

Quarantine Information:

  • 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.
  • 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.

International Commercial Flight Information:

  • Turkish Airlines has upcoming direct flights to the U.S. departing from Istanbul and flying direct to the following cities (all flights are subject to change or cancellation so monitor airline websites):
    – Houston, 3 flights per week as of July 26, 2020
    – Los Angeles, 4 flights per week as of July 8, 2020
    – Miami, 3 flights per week as of July 8, 2020
    – New York, 3 flights per week as of July 10, 2020
    – San Francisco, 3 flights per week as of July 15, 2020
    – Chicago, 3 flights per week as of July 1, 2020
    – Washington DC, 3 flights per week until the end of July 1, 2020
    Check the Turkish Airlines website for updates: https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-tr/announcements/coronavirus-outbreak/current-flight-plan/
  • Turkish Airlines, AnadoluJet, Pegasus, and SunExpress announced resumption of international flights, mostly into Europe. U.S. citizens in transit can book these flights on routes back to the U.S. starting immediately, 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. Passengers should work with the airline to address flight changes, and should be prepared for possible cancelations. Please see important note below for foreign travelers.
  • Reminder to look at transit information carefully when booking connecting flights to the United States from Turkey, and CBP landing requirements: https://www.cbp.gov/travel
  • Turkey lifted the ban on importing and exporting of pets as of 1 May. We refer you to the airline websites for specifics. Please see: https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/any-questions/traveling-with-pets/
  • As noted above, some international flights have resumed, mostly into Europe. U.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 new website for researching transit and travel restrictions for all EU countries, and that link can also be found below.
  • 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: 
  • Travelers are encouraged to regularly check airlines websites to obtain the most up to date information on flight options.  We will continue to message direct flight options to the United States.  However, options requiring transit through third countries will not be listed. 
  • 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 Coronavirus. 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.

Commercial Airline Website Links: 

Transit Information: 

Local Resources:

Other links: