Turkey, Spain Welcome Vaccinated Travellers Without PCR Test

Turkey and Spain will both welcome tourists who are vaccinated against the corona virus into the country without a PCR test requirement.

New restrictions

The new Turkish entry restrictions go into effect today (1st June). Travellers can simply enter Turkey by submitting proof of vaccination at passport control, which will waive the PCR testing requirement.

Tourists need to make sure however that the last jab took place more than 14 days before entering Turkey.

Also travellers who can proof that they were infected with COVID-19 in the last 6 months (and have recovered) can enter Turkey without having to submit a PCR test result.

All people travelling to Turkey are however required to submit an online health form in order to be allowed entry into Turkey.

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The ruins of ancient Ephesus (Efes) in Turkey. ©Paliparan

Exemptions

Unfortunately, not all vaccinated travellers can enter Turkey without having to take a PCR test as there are still some exemptions for people coming from high-risk countries.

Currently, passengers who depart from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka – as well as those people who have visited one of these countries in the last two weeks – are still required to submit a negative PCR test of maximum 72 hours before entering Turkey.

These travellers will also be quarantined for 14 days on arrival in Turkey in special facilities designated by the Turkish authorities.

If you travel to Turkey from the United Kingdom, Egypt, Iran or Singapore, you will not be quarantined, although you do have to submit a PCR test even in the case of having received your corona vaccination.

A full overview of the new government measures can be found on the website of Turkish Airlines. Do note that restrictions are always subject to change, so make sure to check the latest entry requirements when you travel.

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Fishermen on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul. ©Paliparan

Reopening

Turkey has had a strict lockdown in the last few months in order to halt a surge in corona infections. Cafes and restaurants were closed except for takeaway service and the country even introduced strict curfew laws which barred people from going outside except for grocery shopping and emergencies.

Fortunately, Turkey has managed to get the infection rate down and is now slowly reopening. Even cafes and restaurants have reopened for both outdoor and indoor service, although there are still some restrictions in place regarding opening hours and crowd size.

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It is possible to eat some delicious Adana kebab again in restaurants in Turkey. ©Paliparan

Spain

Spain has also announced that the PCR test requirement will be waived for all vaccinated tourists, including travellers from non-EU countries. Just like Turkey, your final jab must have taken place no earlier than 14 days before entering the country.

The measure will be implemented on 7th June, which will be a huge boost for Spain’s hard-hit tourism sector.

The Spanish authorities are even allowing people from 10 low-risk countries to travel to Spain without a negative PCR test or vaccination requirement. Among these countries are the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez said: “They’re welcome – more than welcome – without restrictions nor health controls.”

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Drinking a pint of beer in the Spanish sun will be possible this summer for many tourists from across the world. ©Paliparan

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Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

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