Turkey holidays: UK government issues new advice as travel rules change

Turkey is one of many countries that went into lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis. Holidays to Turkey have not been possible for months to the disappointment of many. However, last week the country began to reopen its borders.


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The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) regularly updates its travel advice.

Today it detailed new developments for Turkey.

“From 12 June, the Turkish government has begun to reopen its international land, sea and air borders,” explained the FCO.

“Scheduled passenger flights will resume on an individual country basis, subject to coordination with the Ministry of Health.

“Direct, scheduled passenger flights between Turkey and the UK resumed on 11 June.

“All passengers, of all nationalities, who meet Turkish immigration rules are permitted entry to Turkey from 12 June.”

Sea ports of entry into Turkey are also now open.

Strict health and safety measures are also in place in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

“Passengers arriving into Turkey will be subject to a medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, which will include temperature checks using thermal cameras or remote thermometers, on exit from the aircraft and/or inside the airport terminal,” stated the FCO.

Those leaving the country will also have their temperature checked before entering the airport terminal.

Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus will undergo a test.

Travellers are expected to wear a face mask at all times within the airport terminal and on all flights.

You are not allowed to be greeted on arrival at the airport – entrance into airports is restricted to staff and arriving or departing passengers.

Passengers will have to provide the address of where they are staying in Turkey and contact information.

Most restrictions on internal travel have been lifted.


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However, those wishing to undertake intercity travel using public transport is “required to obtain an ‘HES’ (‘Hayat Eve Sığar’) code,” explains the FCO.

“This can be done through the e-Devlet system, the Hayat Eve Sığar’ smartphone application and by SMS.”

“Non-Turkish nationals with a domestic flight connecting to/from an international flight which is booked on the same ticket, do not currently require an HES code. Where a domestic flight is booked separately or with a different airline, an HES code is required.”

The FCO continues: “For intercity travel, British nationals without a residence card can obtain an HES code by sending their passport details by SMS to 2023 in the following format: HES [space] Nationality (GBR) [space] passport number [space] year of birth [space] surname. Example: HES GBR 123456789 1980 SMITH. You will need to use the passport which you entered Turkey on, and the SMS message must be sent from a mobile phone registered on a Turkish mobile network.

“If you are over 65, you will also need a travel permit and must remain at your destination for a minimum of 30 days unless travelling for an international flight.

“Individuals under 18 no longer require a permit to either travel within the same city or undertake intercity travel.

“When travelling they must, however, be accompanied by a parent or guardian, aged below 65 years of age.”

Regular bus services have resumed operating in most areas.

Britons tempted to jet off on holiday must remember that, for now, the UK government advises against non-essential travel.

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