COVID-19 Information

Last Updated: April 14, 2021 

New Updates: 

  • On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the Government of Turkey announced partial restrictions for the month of Ramadan and Bayram April 14-May 17, 2021. These restrictions will be reviewed and updated in two weeks if necessary. 
  • All other restrictions previously announced by the Government of Turkey are still in effect. 
  • Weekday Curfews: Monday through Friday weekday curfews are now 7:00 pm until 5:00 am. 
  • Weekend Curfews: Beginning Fridays at 7:00 pm and continuing until Monday mornings at 5:00 am. 
    • On Saturday and Sunday during the curfew, you may go to the nearest supermarket, bakery, green grocer, and butcher between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Those aged 65 and over and under the age of 18 are not allowed to go to the markets. 
  • Tourists/Non-Citizens: 
    • Foreign travelers who are in the country for short trips and tourism are exempt from the curfews. 
    • Foreigners who are in the country as residents, under protected status, or international status, are subject to the curfew restrictions. 
  • Age-Specific Curfews: 
    • Citizens aged 65 and over will be able to go out between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, but young people and children under the age of 18 are not allowed outside during this period. 
    • During the weekday and weekend curfew, those aged 65 and over and young people under 18 and children will not be allowed to use public transportation vehicles (metro, metrobus, bus, minibus, minibus, etc.). 
  • Dining Establishments: 
    • Food and beverage places in lodging facilities (hotel, motel, apart hotel, hostel, etc.), will only serve guests, with a maximum of two people per table. 
    • Until 12:00 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2021, dining establishments are only open for take-away. 
  • Other Establishments: 
  • The services of the following establishments will be suspended temporarily until Monday, May 17, 2021: 
    • Soccer fields, swimming pool, gym, beauty center, hair salon/barber, Turkish bath and sauna, amusement and theme parks. 
    • Coffee houses, clubs, tea gardens. 
    • Internet cafés, game and billiard halls.  
  • Inter-city Travel: 
  • Inter-city travel that does not meet the requirements below will only be allowed with public transportation (i.e., plane, bus, train, ship) and not private vehicles. Those that meet the requirements may also use private vehicles. The requirement is met if: 
    • Have been discharged from hospital and are returning to their residence 
    • Medical appointments and referred by a doctor. 
    • 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). 
    • Checkpoints will be established at all entrances and exits of cities to ensure those traveling by private vehicles are within the scope of exemption and those who do not have a valid reason/exemption will not be allowed to travel between cities. 
    • Please go to the link below for the full list of curfew restrictions: https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/81-il-valiligine-kismi-kapanma-genelgesi-gonderildi 
  • The Ministry of Education has released information about the current operating plan for public educational institutions throughout Turkey.  For detailed information, please visit http://www.meb.gov.tr/basin-aciklamasi/haber/23005/tr. Parents of all school-aged children are encouraged to contact their schools for additional information.  

Country-Specific Information: 

  • Turkey has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • On March 1, 2021 the Government of Turkey announced a four-tier system on local COVID-19 related restrictions. Provinces are now divided into 4 different risk groups: low (blue), medium (yellow), high (orange), and very high (red) based on infection and vaccination rates. To view the map, please visit the following page: https://covid19.saglik.gov.tr/. 
  • Weekday Curfews: Monday through Friday weekday curfews are now 7:00 pm until 5:00 am.. 
  • Weekend Curfews: Beginning Fridays at 7:00 pm and continuing until Monday mornings at 5:00 am. 
    • On Saturday and Sunday during the curfew, you may go to the nearest supermarket, bakery, green grocer, and butcher between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Those aged 65 and over and under the age of 18 are not allowed to go to the markets. 
  • Tourists/Non-Citizens: 
    • Foreign travelers who are in the country for short trips and tourism are exempt from the curfews. 
    • Foreigners who are in the country as residents, under protected status, or international status, are subject to the curfew restrictions. 
  • Age-Specific Curfews: 
    • Citizens aged 65 and over will be able to go out between 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, but young people and children under the age of 18 are not allowed outside during this period. 
    • During the weekday and weekend curfew, those aged 65 and over and young people under 18 and children will not be allowed to use public transportation vehicles (metro, metrobus, bus, minibus, minibus, etc.). 
  • Dining Establishments: 
    • Food and beverage places in lodging facilities (hotel, motel, apart hotel, hostel, etc.), will only serve guests, with a maximum of two people per table. 
    • Until 12:00 pm on Sunday, May 16, 2021, dining establishments are only open for take-away. 
  • Other Establishments: 
  • The services of the following establishments will be suspended temporarily until Monday, May 17, 2021: 
    • Soccer fields, swimming pool, gym, beauty center, hair salon/barber, Turkish bath and sauna, amusement and theme parks. 
    • Coffee houses, clubs, tea gardens 
    • Internet café, game and billiard halls 
  • Shopping malls and supermarkets will only be open for service during non-curfew hours.   
  • The Ministry of Education has released information about the current operating plan for public educational institutions throughout Turkey.  For detailed information, please visit http://www.meb.gov.tr/basin-aciklamasi/haber/23005/tr. Parents of all school-aged children are encouraged to contact their schools for additional information. 
  • Smoking in public spaces is banned.
  • Please see Turkish Ministry of Interior’s circular for more information.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Turkey? Yes 
  • Are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes 
  • PCR testing while staying in Turkey 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.  
  • The government of Turkey has updated their website with the list of facilities in Turkey that perform COVID-19 tests. 
  • PCR testing is available at Istanbul Airport. There is no need for an appointment to visit the airport’s testing center, as it is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.  The testing center is in front of Entrance 14 in Arrivals Hall. The test fee is 250 TL or about $35 for all ages. You must arrive at the airport at least 6 hours prior to your flight with a valid ticket and a valid passporttest results take up to 5 hours. 
  • PCR testing is now available at Ankara Esenboğa Airport. There is no need for an appointment to visit the airport’s testing center, as it is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The testing center is located in the International Departures Terminal, past the checkpoint, on the ground floor by the First Aid Office. The test fee is 250 TL or about $35 for all ages. You must arrive at the airport at least 7 hours prior to your flight with a valid ticket and a valid passport, as test results take up to 6 hours.
  • Passengers in transit, with less than six months validity left on their passports will not be allowed to depart the airport transit areas in order to obtain a COVID test.  Passengers who are unable to exit the transit area and require a COVID-19 test can request it at the transit area information desk.

 COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Turkey approved a COVID vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are COVID vaccines available in Turkey for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes for U.S. citizens who hold residency in Turkey 
    • U.S. citizens who have residency in Turkey can get vaccinated by going through the same process as Turkish citizens. Prioritization by age group applies to residency holders and the eligibility can be checked at https://enabiz.gov.tr/. 
    • Information on how to register at e-nabiz can be found at the Turkish Ministry of Health’s pamphlet 
  • Which vaccines are available iTurkey?
    • The government of Turkey administers mainly SinoVac CoronaVac vaccine. On March 24, Turkey received about 1.4 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.  
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.  
  • For more information, please visit the Government of Turkey’s COVID-19 information page 
  • Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.    

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? Yes
    A PCR test is required.
  • 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.    
  • Effective January 26, 2021, the United States requires all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, arriving from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.  The link at the bottom of the page in Local Resources has testing centers listed by each province in Turkey.
  • All international passengers age 6 years and older traveling to Turkey are required to have taken a COVID-19 PCR test with a negative result within 72 hours prior to their flight. Passengers must submit their test results to the airline at the time of check-in. Passengers failing to submit a negative PCR test will not be permitted to board the flight to Turkey. This requirement will remain in effect until March 1, 2021. 
  • All travelers age 6 years and older who arrive in Turkey through land or sea will be asked to present a negative PCR test result document issued 72 hours prior to arrival. Those who fail to do so at the border gate or sea port will be quarantined in the address to where they are going.
  • As of March 15, all passengers arriving in Turkey (except the transit passengers) are now required to fill out “Form for Entry to Turkey” at “http://register.health.gov.tr” within the last 72 hours before their flights. 
  • For latest travel restrictions to the United States, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website. 
  • Direct flights from Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, and the UK remain cancelled:  
    •  PCR tests will be performed on the 10th day of the quarantine period and the quarantine of those who have negative test results will be ended at the end of the 10th day, the treatment of those who have a positive PCR test will be carried out in accordance with the Ministry of Health COVID 19 guidelines; the quarantine of those who do not have the PCR test will be completed after 14 days. 
    • All passengers traveling through another country who have been in Brazil and South Africa in the last 10 days will continue to be quarantined in places determined by the governorships for a period of 14 days following their entry into Turkey. 
    • PCR tests will be performed on the 10th day of the quarantine period and the quarantine of those who have negative test results will be ended at the end of the 10th day, the treatment of those who have a positive PCR test will be carried out in accordance with the Ministry of Health COVID 19 guidelines; the quarantine of those who do not have the PCR test will be completed after 14 days. 
  • 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? Yes
    • A partial curfew is in effect.
    • Weekday Curfews: Monday through Friday weekday curfews are now 7:00 pm until 5:00 am. 
    • Weekend Curfews: Beginning Fridays at 7:00 pm and continuing until Monday mornings at 5:00 am. 
      • On Saturday and Sunday during the curfew, you may go to the nearest supermarket, bakery, green grocer, and butcher between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Those aged 65 and over and under the age of 18 are not allowed to go to the markets. 
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
    • Intercity travel permits are required for Turkish citizens and residents aged 65 and over. 
    • Starting January 15 the use of all means of public mass transport in Istanbul has been banned for persons under 20 and over 65 part of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Inter-city Travel: 
    • Inter-city travel that does not meet the requirements below will only be allowed with public transportation (i.e., plane, bus, train, ship) and not private vehicles. Those that meet the requirements may also use private vehicles. The requirement is met if: 
      • Have been discharged from hospital and are returning to their residence. 
      • Medical appointments and referred by a doctor. 
      • 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). 
      • Checkpoints will be established at all entrances and exits of cities to ensure those traveling by private vehicles are within the scope of exemption and those who do not have a valid reason/exemption will not be allowed to travel between cities. 
      • Please go to the link below for the full list of curfew restrictions: https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/81-il-valiligine-kismi-kapanma-genelgesi-gonderildi 
    • During the weekday and weekend curfew, those aged 65 and over and young people under 18 and children will not be allowed to use public transportation vehicles (metro, metrobus, bus, minibus, minibus, etc.). 
  • Tourists/Non-Citizens: 
    • Foreign travelers who are in the country for short trips and tourism are exempt from the curfews. 
    • Foreigners who are in the country as residents, under protected status, or international status, are subject to the curfew restrictions. 
  • 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

Quarantine Information: 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
    If they have not submitted a PCR test within 72-hours of boarding their flight, or arrived via land border or sea port without a PCR testthey will be required to quarantine where they planned to stay.
  • 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.

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 cancellations. 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.
  • 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.  
    • During the weekday and weekend curfew, those aged 65 and over and young people under 18 and children will not be allowed to use public transportation vehicles (metro, metrobus, bus, minibus, minibus, etc.). 
  • Transit passengers are not required to submit a PCR test in Turkey however they are advised to review the flight restrictions applied by the destination country regarding the PCR test requirements, age limits and the duration. 
  • Passengers failing to submit a digital or paper copy of a negative PCR test result are not permitted to board the flights. 
  • 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. 
  • Effective January 15, Istanbul will implement a new law that states the Istanbul Kart for anyone over six (6) years old has to be connected with your HES code in order to use public transportation.  We highly suggest you buy an Istanbul Kart for each person in your family and pair the Istanbul Kart with HES Code. 
  • 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:
  • 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.  

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: 

Transit Information: