Turkey Will Require Negative PCR Tests For All Travelers

From Monday, December 28, Turkey will require all passengers arriving by air from overseas and sea routes starting December 30 to present a negative PCR test on their arrival. The test must be taken 72 hours before departure.

Turkey now requires a negative PCR test. Photo: Getty Images

On Twitter, the Turkish Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca shared that travelers visiting Turkey would not be allowed to enter the country without proof of a negative PCR test.

The Health Minister said Turkey is following the most up-to-date COVID-19 scientific developments and would take all the necessary steps to maintain control over the global coronavirus pandemic as it continues to threaten the world.

Visitors must have a current PCR test

Turkey currently has one of the worlds highest COVID-19 infection rates with 1,286,374
confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of this number, 19,115 people have lost their lives.

In a statement seen by state-run news outlet the Anadolu Agency, Koca made the following remarks:

“Those who do not submit their [negative] test [results] at the border gate upon entering our country will be quarantined at the addresses where they reside. This measure will continue until March 1, 2021.” 

In-flight service
Despite COVID-19, Turkish Airlines still operate many flights. Photo: Getty Images

Earlier Turkish national flag carrier Turkish Airlines said that it would require all passengers to present a negative PCR test taken in the last 72 hours before allowing anyone to board the aircraft.

Turkish Airlines made a similar tweet

Also taking to Twitter to get the message out, Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi said:

“On request of our Health Ministry, all passengers coming from abroad starting from Dec. 28 will be asked to submit negative PCR virus test results obtained within the last 72 hours before boarding, as part of Turkey’s fight against Covid.” 

Late last Sunday, Turkey Announced that it was temporarily suspending flights from the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa due to a faster spreading strain of the virus detected in these countries. Flights between Turkey and the Netherlands resumed on Wednesday, but the ban is still in place for the other countries on the list.

Repatriation flight to London

In other Turkish Airlines news, the Istanbul Airport (IST)-based airline conducted an evacuation flight on Friday for people who had been stranded in the UK and Turkey following the travel ban. The plane, an Airbus A330-300, took off from Istanbul at noon with passengers who had complied with the COVID-19 conditions and wanted to go to the United Kingdom.

Port Harcourt, Turkish Airlines, Airbus A330
A Turkish Airlines used an Airbus A330 for its London repatriation flight. Photo: Getty Images

Before returning to Istanbul, all passenger details were recorded as a part of the COVID-19 measures put in place by the Turkish government. Upon arrival, they were then taken to a COVID-19 PCR testing area in Istanbul.

Turkey’s move follows many other counties insisting that arriving passengers have proof of a recent negative PCR test.

What do you think about having to take a PCR test and the cost of them? Please tell us what you think in the comments.