(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Turkey, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Having endured a major spike in cases in the first half of 2021, which led to a 17-day lockdown at the end of April, Turkey has spent the latter half of the year under slacker restrictions. Many places are now open as normal, but gaining access to venues and transportation requires proof of vaccination or a negative test.
What's on offer
With thriving cities, spectacular ancient ruins and monuments and landscapes ripe for exploration -- plus spectacular beaches -- Turkey has long been a favorite among tourists looking for an idyllic summer getaway.
Who can go
Anyone can travel to Turkey, though some are subject to restrictions. Those who have been in Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka in the 14 days prior to travel will be quarantined for 14 days on arrival.
Passengers from Afghanistan and Pakistan are subject to a 10-day quarantine, while arrivals from the UK, Egypt, Iran and Singapore must undergo mandatory testing before entering the country. See below for details.
In response to the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variation, Turkey issued a ban on arrivals from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
What are the restrictions?
All arrivals must submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure unless they have a certificate showing they were vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival. Visitors from some countries may also be able show proof of a negative rapid antigen test.
Those who have been in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka in the 14 days prior to travel will be quarantined for 14 days on arrival in a government-listed hotel at their own expense. They must have a confirmed hotel reservation before departure.
All Turkish airports are operating random testing. Passengers can proceed to their destination after they have been tested, but anyone who receives a positive test must quarantine for 14 days at their specified address, along with their close contacts. This can be terminated if a negative result is returned on day 10 -- the local authorities will handle it on site.
All passengers must complete a Turkey Entry Form at least 72 hours before departure. Paper or mobile copies can be shown on arrival.
Children under six are not required to submit testing or vaccine information, while passengers transiting are also exempt.
What's the Covid situation?
Turkey's death toll stands at 83,231, with more than 9.7 million cases registered. After a tough first year, the situation improved markedly following a number of strict lockdowns and restrictions on socializing, although numbers rose again in July. Although omicron is now spreading, authorities have played down its threat, recently halving quarantine time for anyone testing positive to 14 days. The country has fully vaccinated just over 62% of the population as of January 7.
What can visitors expect?
After enduring lockdowns and curfews, Turkey returned to relative normality last year, but now Omicron is taking hold. Shops are now, as are cafes and restaurants, with no restrictions. Entry into more crowded venues like theaters, cinemas or concerts will will require proof of vaccination, or a negative PCR test taken 48 hours prior to the event. In most cases, for non-residents, a printed copy of a vaccination certificate should suffice.
Smoking remains banned in open public areas.
Nightly curfews and Sunday lockdowns have now been removed and cafes and restaurants can serve unlimited numbers
Museums have reopened, although mask wearing, social distancing and hygiene measures remain in place.
Use of public transport, including buses, trains, and airplanes will also require proof of vaccination or negative test taken within 48 hours of travel. Capacity may be reduced on some services and passengers required to wear a mask.
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