coronavirus, PCR test

Turkey to make PCR tests mandatory for unvaccinated from September

Those wanting to attend events or travel by public transport, must prove that they have been vaccinated or have a negative PCR test.

Turkey will make PCR tests mandatory from September for those who are not vaccinated and those who reject the coronavirus vaccine, who must present a negative test to attend social events such as concerts or to enter public places, including cinemas and theatres, according to the new measures announced by the Turkish government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an official circular issued by the Ministry of the Interior, PCR tests will be mandatory as of September 6, and in addition to entering public places, they will also be required in trips between cities by plane, train or bus, as well as in the rest of means of transport, except in private vehicles.

Organisers of public events such as concerts, exhibitions, conferences, etc., must enable means for attendees to show their HES code before entering – HES code is a mobile application used in Turkey that shows your health status and if you have been infected by coronavirus – to verify that they have been vaccinated, that they have overcome the COVID-19 disease, or that they have performed a negative PCR test within a period of no more than 48 hours.

Infections in Turkey remain above 20,000 daily

Last week, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan announced that PCR tests would be mandatory from September 6 – coinciding with the start of classes in Turkey, which will be face-to-face again – with the aim of containing coronavirus infections, which have kept over 20,000 daily for the last month, being the Delta variant 90% of the infections in the country.

About 46 million of the 83 million people in Turkey have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 35 million have both doses. As part of the government’s plans to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, teachers and staff of educational centres who didn’t want to be vaccinated, as well as university students, must also undergo periodic PCR tests to verify that they are not infected.

The Turkish government’s decision to make PCR tests mandatory for the unvaccinated is based on the fact that they constitute the main group of people treated in the ICU for coronavirus, with the second largest group being those who have only received one dose of the vaccine. They are followed by those who have received both doses but have not yet developed immunity, and finally by those who have received two doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine – based on inoculating the virus inactivated – more than 3 months ago.