Istanbul Airport, terminal

Turkey stops requiring PCR tests for unvaccinated foreign passengers

As of today, travellers arriving in Turkey no longer have to present a coronavirus test, even if they are not vaccinated.

Turkish Ministry of Interior has announced that PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are no longer mandatory from today, Wednesday, June 1, for all foreign passengers, in what is a further step towards normalization as the end of the pandemic is near, after earlier this week the Turkish government announced that masks are no longer mandatory on public transport, including airplanes.

In this way, the Turkish authorities eliminate the requirement that until now existed for passengers arriving from other countries to present a negative PCR test carried out a maximum of 72 hours before entering the country, or 48 hours in the case of that the test had been performed with a rapid antigen test. That is to say: from now on, even travellers who have not been vaccinated will be able to travel to Turkey without presenting any test.

In early March, Turkey already removed the need to quarantine passengers arriving from foreign flights if they had undergone a PCR test, had received at least two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, or had passed the COVID-19 in the last 6 months. In addition, since the beginning of February, non-passengers can enter airport terminals.

The elimination of PCR tests for foreign passengers, and the progressive relaxation of measures against the coronavirus, come after daily infections in Turkey have remained below 1,000 daily cases for days, with hardly any deaths from COVID being recorded. The government hopes that the new measures will help recover the tourism sector, badly hit during the pandemic: this year the number of tourists is expected to exceed the record of 52 million visitors registered in 2019.