Turkey’s health ministry will carry out random coronavirus tests on a certain number of passengers arriving in the country’s airports from abroad, according to the Daily Sabah news site. The practice is called sampling, and the tests will be done in addition to the negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result all passengers are required to have ready to show upon arrival. The change was made amid reports from other countries of people using fake tests for international travel or other purposes. Turkey had banned flights to and from several countries as the pandemic took hold, though most bans have now been lifted. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (SHGM) announced that the conditions to enter Turkey via its airports were updated as part of pandemic measures.
“People bearing official documents which confirm that they had their coronavirus vaccine at least 14 days before entering Turkey and/or infected and recovered from the disease within last six months, will not be asked to carry documents showing they had a negative PCR test and they will not be subject to quarantine measures,” SHGM said in a statement.
In the absence of these documents, passengers will be required to show negative PCR test results conducted no more than 72 hours before entry, or a negative rapid antigen test result conducted no more than 48 hours before entry. Those using test results to enter will be randomly selected at airports and will be allowed to travel to their final destinations if their test comes back negative. If the result is positive, they will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at a location of their choice. If they test negative on the tenth day of quarantine, they will be released earlier. People who might have come into contact with an infected person during their trip will be subject to the same conditions. Those diagnosed with the Delta variant will only be allowed to leave quarantine after fourteen days, and only after they test negative for coronavirus. Travelers are also required to fill out a form about their health on the Turkish health ministry’s website 72 hours before their trip. Earlier this month, customs officers at an airport in Prague stopped 140 travelers on suspicion that they falsified negative coronavirus tests in order to enter the country. Last week, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte called on authorities to arrest people producing fake test results for travel purposes, upon reports tourists were caught with falsified results.
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