Is Travelling to Istanbul Safe?

The arrival of the summer season has marked a new phase in the pandemic.
After spending over a year dreaming of traveling to holiday destinations, many travelers are finally able to take advantage of this new type of mobility and travel overseas to book holiday trips to countries that previously denied entry of passengers. But as many parts of the world still remain in the turmoil of the pandemic, travel still may bring a level of uncertainty to specific countries—from varied reopening timelines to fluctuating flight schedules and the many travel requirements still in place.

Amidst this ongoing uncertainty, probably one of the most frequently asked questions is whether it is safe to travel to Istanbul,Turkey or not. May 2021 has been challenging for Turkey especially with the holiday season right around the corner, as the tourism industry is considered one of the major sources of revenue and export earnings for the country.

Turkey had been gradually easing restrictions since mid-May following the end of the “full lockdown” which lasted for around three weeks after the daily covid cases reached a record level of more than 63,000.

Fortunately, the new protective measures implemented and the wide-spread vaccination proved effective as the country began seeing a significant decline in new coronavirus cases. In response, on July 1, 2021 the Turkish Government announced that Turkey had entered a new normalization phase (that marks the 3rd phase of the gradual normalisation period), lifting most of the COVID-19-related restrictions, outlined as the following;

- All curfews (night time curfews and nationwide lockdowns)

- Intercity travel, both on weekdays and weekends

- The number of passengers/seat capacity for intracity and intercity modes of public transport

- Cafes and restaurants are now allowed to serve people with no limitation on guest numbers in indoor and outdoor areas.

- All workplaces and cinemas, which had suspended their activities as part of coronavirus measures, have reopened

- Concerts, festivals, and youth camps will also be allowed.

However, protective measures that encourage to reduce the risk of exposure such as wearing masks are still mandatory throughout the country in all public places including but not limited to; public transportation (metro, ferries, buses, taxis, trams), streets, markets, shops, hairdressers and barber shops. Additionally, hygiene (frequent hand washing) and social distancing still continue to remain extremely important.

After travel restrictions and lockdowns, in June 2020, Turkey’s Foreign, Culture and Tourism, and Transportation Ministries, launched a ‘Safe Tourism Certification Program’. This program encompasses a broad range of strict safety and hygiene measures to be implemented at airports as well as other transport facilities and at accommodation outlets (which is mandatory for facilities with more than 30 rooms), tour transfer vehicles, restaurants/cafés, covering the whole course of travel of domestic / foreign guests from their arrival at any airport in Turkey until their return home / departure from the country.

The program that applies to all cities in Turkey particularly in the most popular tourism destinations including cities such as; Istanbul, Antalya, Mugla, Izmir and Nevsehir, is actively conducted for guests to explore the most beautiful destinations in Turkey with peace of mind. According to the tourism sector representatives, this program has enabled to create a risk-free atmosphere so as to welcome more tourists to Turkey, providing at least a better year than 2020 for the country.

As a final remark;

The restrictions / measures are still kept under constant review as both the nations’ as well as the worlds’ situation continues to shift and evolve, therefore passengers are advised to stay abreast with their national governments’ latest travel updates and advisories before their departure. If regular medication is taken, it is advised to make sure they have adequate supplies to cover in case they are required a period of quarantine as a result of a positive COVID test result. However, given the current conditions of the country and the strategies as well as the preventive measures implemented for the control of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be said that as of July, 2021, travelling to Istanbul, Turkey is rather safe and reliable for travellers coming from abroad.

Arpanu Medical Travel is available at every step of the way to guide and support you along your travel experience to Istanbul, Turkey. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable from the moment you arrive in Turkey until your departure back home. The safety of our guests is our priority! For this reason we are continuously working on making improvements, knowing that the whole experience of our visitors is always a memorable one. With our team that consists of multilingual and dynamic professionals, having extensive experience and knowledge of all aspects of tourism and travel services, we would like you to know that our communication lines are always open.

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