June 6, 2020
Health Alert: COVID-19 and Information on Direct Flights to the United States
- On June 10th Turkish Airlines is offering a direct flight from Istanbul direct to Los Angeles (LAX) on flight TK4909. The flight departs June 10 from Istanbul (IST) at 02:35 and arrives in Los Angeles (LAX) at 06:15.
- Please book your tickets directly at the Turkish Airlines website or call center (444-0849 or 0850-333-0849).
- Please arrive at least 3 hours prior to your flight. Turkish Airlines has posted information for safe travel on their website. All travelers will be required to wear cloth face coverings during these flights and in the airport. Any questions related to baggage, pets, or seat selection, should be directed to the airlines.
- We understand that Turkish Airlines will not accept any cabin baggage on board except essential items such as a laptop, handbag, briefcase, or baby items.
- Effective June 6, all travelers must have a HES code (Hayat Eve Sığar) for domestic and international flights, train and ferry travel. 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 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) the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days. Put a single space between each item.
- 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 DO NOT HAVE A TURKISH ID: We have been told that you should send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes (a) the letters “HES”, (b) your nationality (c) your passport number, (d) your year of birth, and (d) the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days. Put a single space between each item. As of June 5, we have not yet seen this work; as the requirement for foreign citizens does not begin until June 6, it is possible the system is not yet working.
- Airlines also have information on their websites in English about the HES code, including: 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/
Actions to Take:
- Information regarding commercial flight options is available on the U.S. Embassy COVID-19 webpage.
- If you have previously purchased tickets on a commercial airline, we recommend that you reconfirm with the airline that the flight is operational and verify the transit country’s entry requirements prior to your departure.
- Carry identity and travel documents with you at all times.
- Review local resources for more information:
- Turkish Ministry of Health COVID-19
- Turkish Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
- Turkish Presidency’s interactive COVID-19 web page
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Turkey.