With jaw-dropping attractions and breathtakingly beautiful mosques, Turkey is a dream destination for many, including us! Just last week, the country opened its doors to international tourists after being closed for months due to COVID-19. While most of us are still unable to travel, this news gives us hope and we're definitely dreaming of a trip to Turkey! Here are some things you should know about Turkey's reopening ?
Which sectors of Turkey have opened up?
Turkey's tourist attractions, mosques, museums, shopping malls, restaurants, cafes and many other public areas have reopened after months of closure. The country initially opened up to domestic travel in end-May and to international tourists on 18 June 2020
This includes the Hagia Sophia
, Sultanahmet Mosque
and the Grand Bazaar
. But there are measures in place to limit the number of visitors and visitors are required to wear masks.
Shops in the Grand Bazaar can only have a limited number of visitors. Other attractions, like the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, have also reopened since 1 June, along with other archaeological sites but the number of visitors has been significantly limited.
As for the popular hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia, tours will only be resuming on 1 July 2020
. But due to social distancing measures, tours will strictly be limiting the number of travellers.
P.S. Here are 9 awesome things we wish to do in Turkey once it's safe to travel!
Hygiene and precautionary measures are in placeCredit: Albanian Embassy in Turkey on Facebook
Turkey has also put in place its Safe Tourism Certification
programme so that travellers can enjoy their vacation in Turkey safely. More than 700 hotels and 900 restaurants have applied for it. They'd have to prove that they have taken significant measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and there will be an inspection by authorities too.
Some of these new measures include face masks, temperature checks at entrances and no breakfast buffets in hotels. The number of travellers for group tours will also be strictly limited.
Will there be a quarantine period or COVID-19 test for travellers?Credit: IGA Istanbul Airport on Facebook
Travellers to Turkey will not be required
to do a COVID-19 test or be subjected to a 14-day quarantine. But they will be examined for symptoms and will have to give their contact and accommodation details when they land. If travellers show symptoms, they will be asked to take a test and be quarantined if test results are positive.
COVID-19 testing centres will also be set up in airports starting 1 July 2020
. Travellers can take the test for a fee of 15 euros and receive the results in 2 hours! In addition, travellers are also welcome to take the test at any local health facility.
There will be a health insurance system for foreigners
Turkey has also launched a health insurance system
for travellers! For a cost of between 13 and 33 euros, foreigners will be able to get health benefits with a limit of 2000-7000 euros while they are there.
Travellers can get the travel insurance through airlines, online platforms, tour operators and sales points before passport control.
Flights have resumed from KL, Singapore and Jakarta to Istanbul
Turkey has started reopening flight routes
with various cities including KL, Singapore and Jakarta! In July, Turkish Airlines has planned to fly to 125 destinations - with flights to KL, Singapore and Jakarta starting in mid-July.
Other airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad are already flying to KL, Singapore, Jakarta and Istanbul. This means that transit flights are also allowed.
Note: While Turkey has already accepted travellers of all nationalities, do take note of the travel restrictions in your country. As of now, residents from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are still unable to travel abroad for non-essential purposes.
There are still travel restrictions but you can start thinking about where to go with our guides
While international travel might be off the cards right now, that does not mean that you can't dream about your next trip to Turkey! It's never too early to start thinking about the places you want to visit and bookmark them. So that once the time comes and it's safe to travel, you're ready to go ? Here are some of our articles that will inspire your travels:
We hope this article has given you a clearer idea of what to expect if you're planning a trip to Turkey in the future. While you can't plan a trip there now, knowing that Turkey has put in place significant precautionary measures is definitely very assuring! Time to add Turkey to your bucket list ?