With cases ramping up in many countries, Turkey, once a place where many were going to experience some kind of international destination this year, now will require a negative PCR test before boarding. Here are the details.
Turkey Requires Negative PCR Tests Before Flight
Starting December 30, all passengers flying to Turkey, whether as a destination or for transit, will be required to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before boarding the flight to Turkey. This will not be required for passengers under 6 years old.
For passengers traveling from the US and using Turkish Airlines, this will not be an easy thing to accomplish. Most rapid tests in the US are antigen tests which are not the same as PCR tests and are not accepted for this requirement. Furthermore, many places that offer PCR tests will not be able to get you a result within 72 hours – or at least not be able to promise such a turnaround.
You may need to fly through another airport that offers rapid PCR tests before heading to Turkey, if you are using that as your destination. We are doing that for upcoming travel to Europe with a longer layover in Germany to get our PCR tests since we need tests within 72 hours of arrival and we cannot find that in the US. (edit: you may only be able to get tested in Germany if you are allowed to enter Germany so make sure you check this before planning)
This new requirement is currently set to be in place until March 1 – so think about this if you have travel booked on Turkish Airlines in the next 2 months.