After months of imposing stricter entry rules in response to Covid, Turkey is finally removing all health requirements for international arrivals. This means that, starting June 1, tourists will no longer be expected to present Covid certificates arriving at Turkey’s borders, as pandemic-related measures have been officially nullified.
The cross-continental nation, which hosts Europe’s largest metropolis (Istanbul), and some of Western Asia’s most memorable natural landmarks, will welcome visitors restriction-free for the first time in two years. Although it had progressively eased rules throughout 2021, it always stopped short of announcing a full-scale reopening… Until now.
Turkey Welcomes All Travelers Again
As confirmed by the Interior Ministry, undergoing tests for Covid will no longer be expected of any foreigners visiting Turkey starting June 1. Previously, those who did not present a vaccination certificate upon crossing the border were required to have a negative PCR 72 hours before entry, or a Rapid Antigen Test within 48 hours.
On top of that, being in possession of a vaccination certificate will no longer be a prerequisite for entry into the country for the vaccinated, as all Covid certificates have officially ceased being relevant travel documents. Now, both the vaccinated, and the unvaccinated, are treated the exact same way for entry purposes.
Although visa rules for certain nationalities are still in place, Turkey is open to all regardless of immunization status:
- No vaccination passes are required
- No pre-departure testing is demanded
- No post-arrival testing mandates are in place
- No quarantine orders are issued upon arrival
Vaccinated travelers had been previously exempt from the testing requirement, one of Turkey’s last standing sanitary barriers against Covid. However, with both vaccination and testing rules gone, Turkey has effectively reinstated its pre-pandemic state of normality, when visitors only had to worry about carrying a valid passport.
Masks Are Gone As Of This Week
According to the Interior Ministry, anti-Covid measures are determined on ‘global developments’ and infection trends, explaining Turkey’s once-harsh border protocols. Considering that the vast majority of Europe is open, and the world has started to move on from Covid, Turkish authorities saw it was time to lift curbs altogether.
On top of abolishing its travel rules, Turkey scrapped mandatory mask usage – with the usual exceptions. While facial coverings will continue being enforced in hospitals, where vulnerable populations are at a higher risk of experiencing severe forms of Covid, they are no longer necessary in all other settings, including public transport.
As of June 1, tourists are again free to travel Istanbul’s extensive transportation system, which includes scenic ferry rides, without face masks, or fear of being rebuked for opting not to wear one. Similarly, mask wearing has become voluntary in flights within Turkey, which are the preferred mode of travel for tourists once inside the country.
Infections in Turkey now account for only 1% of the February 8 peak, when over 100,000 new cases were recorded in a single day – and they are falling even further. The favorable epidemiological scenario even led President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who adopted tougher stances in the past, to argue that Covid is ‘no longer a global threat‘.
Why Visit Turkey In 2022?
Turkey is one of the most fascinating countries on Earth. Straddling the natural border between Europe and Asia, with the Northern part of Istanbul being its most notorious European asset, the ancient country is closely linked to other regional superpowers, having been an integral part of several empires throughout the centuries.
Here, tourists can find numerous landmarks that have shaped History as we know it, including:
- The magnificent Hagia Sophia Mosque
- The Walls of Constantinople, Istanbul’s former name
- The Hadrian’s Gate in Antalya
- The Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara, the country’s capital
- Ephesus, where parts of the Bible were written
- Aspendos, the best preserved Roman theater
- Cappadocia, a historical region famous for its cave houses
- The Ancient city of Troy, located on the Dardanelles Strait
Additionally, due to the Turkish Lira’s depreciation against the U.S. dollar, Turkey makes for a more budget-friendly destination when compared to other European hotspots, like the neighboring Greece or Cyprus. In fact its beach town Marmaris has just been named the most affordable summer destination in Europe this year.
Do I Need A Visa For Turkey?
American citizens need an E-Visa in order to enter Turkey, which can be easily obtained online prior to departure. After payment of the visa fee, which varies depending on nationality, it is usually delivered via electronic means within 24 hours of applying. Once granted, the visa allows Americans a 90-day stay as tourists.
Canadians are also required to obtain an E-Visa prior to visiting, while British citizens and most citizens of the European Union can visit Turkey simply by presenting a passport – and, in specific cases like France, even just National Identity Cards. For more information on visa rules that apply to specific nationalities, please visit this page.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories