Summary vaccination proof  Turkey:

Population to be vaccinated: 60-65 million
Vaccines: China’s Sinovac Biotech
Inbound travelers vaccination proof [Yes] [SARS-COV-2 PCR] Inbound travelers quarantine [Yes, If a passenger visited UK, Denmark, and South Africa within ten days before the departure ] [Quarantine Period: 7 days in case of Denmark and South Africa, and ten days for the UK] Quarantine accommodation: Places will be selected by Turkey governorship.

What covid vaccination card or document do you need to show customs when entering Turkey? 

As there is no defined rule or a law at this moment (March 2, 2021) you can bring the vaccination confirmation or certificate from your local health authority where you got your covid-19 vaccine shot. That can be the digital confirmation mail or hardcopy you received in the facility you had the shot. Any proof from an officially recognized organization is approved.

Proof of covid19 vaccination:

A vaccinated individual will get a corona vaccination card after the procedure, which is covid19 vaccination proof. This card’s purpose is to keep track of the name, dosage, and next date of getting a vaccination.

For traveling, the covid vaccination proof can help you eliminate the number of barriers at the time of departure from your country and arrival to Turkey. However, it’s not compulsory for traveling to Turkey, but it will be good for your safety and other people traveling along with you.

If we talk about compulsory requirements, no tourist can travel to Turkey without PCR testing.

How Corona went for Turkey until now?

If we compare Turkey with other countries regarding COVID19, there were fewer Corona cases in this country at the beginning. On March 11, 2020, the first Corona case was registered when Turkey’s citizens returned from Europe. After that, the wave of Corona hit the country and affected 81 provinces.

There are 2.27M registered cases in Turkey, in which 2.16M people are recovered, and more than 21,000 are dead.

A curfew is imposed in Ankara after an evening on regular weekdays and a full lockdown at weekends. This lockdown situation will be carried on for a month or maybe more than a month.

What impact corona had on the tourism and travel industry in Turkey?

The tourism industry is one of the most important pillars of Turkey’s economy. Due to the pandemic, a significant drop in tourists was noticed in 2020. According to the estimates, the number of visitors decreased by 75% in Turkey’s first 6 to 11 months.

In October 2020, the tourism situation was out of hand. Most of the shopkeepers could not pay the rent of their shops because of fewer visitors.

One of the renowned hotels, named Pera Palace in Istanbul, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The occupancy rate fell to 20% at the beginning of 2020, but then it reached 0% until the mid of the year.

Antalya’s beautiful beaches were turned into deserted places, and most of the hotels closed their business in the first half of 2020.

The Tourism Ministry of Antalya launched a “safe tourism” program in June 2020. This program aims to implement precautionary measures, such as face masks, social distancing, etc., to ensure tourists’ safety and facilitate tourists. This program prevented the spread of coronavirus.

Turkey is trying to recover from the effect of COVID19 on the tourism and travel industry. According to the tourism industry professionals, many hotels follow health guidelines for promoting safe tourism in the country.

Hotel occupancy is below 30%; with this percentage, it’s evident that Turkey’s tourism industry is not performing well due to the pandemic. However, they are allowing tourists to accommodate in hotels following SOP.

Roll out a vaccination program

Turkey started its vaccination campaign at the end of December. In this vaccination program, 65 million people in Turkey will be vaccinated. However, these vaccines will be free for qualified individuals.

The priority is to vaccinate older people (65 or above years old) and health workers working in the front line for the patients of Corona. Turkish ministry is planning to use hospitals, health centers, different health institutions for the vaccination procedure.

Turkey received 3 million doses in December to carry out the vaccination program. The Chinese vaccination, named Sinovac, was first tested in the laboratories and medical agencies for two weeks after the arrival to ensure medical safety.

In February, another 10 million vaccination doses will reach Turkey. According to the estimate of health professionals, 100 million doses are required to cure Corona.

After the vaccination procedure, the vaccinated people will receive the instructions, such as do’s and don’ts by HES, to track any side effects of the vaccination. Fortunately, there are no side effects that have been noticed in the people who are vaccinated.

The Chinese vaccination program will be conducted in 4 stages, and an individual will take two doses within a 14 or 21-day gap.

According to the Health Minister of Turkey, the vaccination trials of phase 3 are more than 90% effective. Vaccinated volunteers are advising people to vaccinate themselves.

According to a professor at the Dicle University named Recep Tekin, no significant side effects have been noticed during the trial of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Turkey is also considering negotiating a deal of vaccines from other countries and medical companies that can provide vaccines as per the Turkish standards, such as Pfizer. Turkish scientists are also working day and night to develop their vaccines, and the Turkish government is also considering using their vaccines for trials.

 

PCR testing:

For travel to Turkey, the first requirement is the use of a face mask throughout your journey. On arriving at your destination, you may expect a Corona screening test.

From December 30, 2020, passengers with six or more than six years old age can only travel if they have their SARS-COV-2 PCR test results with them. The test must be done within 72 hours before the time of departure, and this rule applies to inbound flights.

If a passenger visited the UK within the last ten days before departure. In that case, he/she would be quarantined for 14 days, and the management and Turkey officials will decide the quarantine location after the arrival. He/she is also required to show their negative SARS-COV-2 PCR test (within 72 hours before departure) reports before boarding.

Suppose a passenger is six years or more than six years old and visited South Africa or Denmark within the last ten days before departure. In that case, he/she must submit adverse SARS-COV-2 PCR test reports at the time of departure (within 72 hours before departure). On arriving in Turkey, the passenger will be quarantined for seven days. If, after seven days, the PCR test is negative, then he/she is allowed to enter the country.

Turkey is making every possible effort for the redemption of the tourism industry. The reason for submitting PCR Covid19 test reports is to ensure the safety of every tourist and the citizens of Turkey.

Tourism After Vaccination:

As the vaccination campaign is going successful in Turkey, the tourism industry hopes to boost 2021. Due to the pandemic, the number of tourists in Turkey decreased by 72% in 2020. In 2021, Turkey is hoping to bring 25 million visitors, which is less than the number of visitors before the pandemic (in 2019), but still better than the current situation.

Essential rules for tourists in Turkey:

  • If you are planning your trip to Turkey, you will need to follow these rules:
  • Restaurants within the hotels will be open, but they will only serve hotel guests. Outsider person is not allowed to dine in.
  • Dining areas within the airport will be open, but only travelers can sit there and eat food.
  • Tourists will not be a part of curfews. Curfew is applied to citizens and residents of Turkey.
  • After arriving in Turkey, if a passenger is tested positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health will refer the passenger to a private hospital.
  • No one is allowed to smoke in public places.
  • Passengers living in hotels or any accommodation are free to travel on their private vehicles, but they must have a hotel reservation or travel proof document with them.

Conclusion

Turkey got a significant hit by Corona in March 2020, after which a lockdown and curfew was imposed. Due to this pandemic situation, the tourism industry faced a considerable fall in history.

Turkey started its vaccination program at the end of December 2020, and fortunately, vaccination trials are going successful without any significant side effects.

Turkey is hoping to see a rise in the tourism industry after the successful vaccination roll-out program. In 2021, the number of visitors will increase in Turkey.

There are specific traveling rules every passenger needs to follow for a safe trip to Turkey. Every passenger is required to show his/her PCR COVID-19 positive test report before departing for Turkey.

Sources:

Travel World

Daily Sabah

TRTWorld and agencies