Turkey holidays: Curfews & restrictions which could impact holidaymakers – FCDO update

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued an update of coronavirus restrictions and curfews in place across Turkey. Though it has not been confirmed whether or not Turkey will make it onto the UK’s “green list” for travel, last year it saw a surge in tourism due to travel restrictions.

The UK Government is due to outline plans for travel, which is planned to return from May 17, in the coming weeks.

However, coronavirus restrictions are likely to remain in many countries, even if tourism restarts.

In the case of Turkey, the latest restrictions include a curfew on intercity travel, restrictions on using public transport and a Covid-risk “tier” system.

Turkey is currently split into “four tiers” based on the “COVID-19 risk”.

It is not clear how long this tier system will remain in place.

The FCDO explains: “Provinces in Turkey are split into four tiers by COVID-19 risk: low, medium, high and very high.

“A map of Turkey illustrating these tiers is available from the Ministry of Health.”

Facemasks are mandatory “at all times” when “outside the home”.

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“This includes, but is not limited to, all public places, including streets, side streets, parks, gardens, picnic areas, markets, seaside and public transportation including Metro, buses, taxis and ferries,” states the FCDO.

“Masks are also mandatory in all shops, restaurants, hairdressers and barbershops.”

It adds: “Those who do not abide by COVID-19 restrictions may be issued with a fine of 900 TL (approximately £90).”

There are also restrictions on the ways in which retail outlets, eateries, grocery stores, butchers and bakeries will be allowed to operate.

“Restaurants and cafes will only be offering a takeaway or delivery service, from 7am to 7pm. After the start of the evening curfew at 7pm only delivery is permitted,” explained the FCDO.

“All businesses will only operate between 7am and 6pm weekdays, to allow for the curfew.

“At weekends, supermarkets, grocery stores, butchers and bakeries will operate between 10am and 5pm. Except for those aged over 65 and under 18, residents are permitted to walk to their nearest store, for essential needs only. Driving is not permitted.

“Swimming pools, gyms, football pitches, beauty salons, Turkish baths, amusement parks and internet cafes will be closed.”

While the nation’s current curfew rules are currently only predicted to remain in place until May 17, this could be extended if the Turkish authorities deem it necessary.

The FCDO explains: “New COVID-19 restrictions will be in place from 7pm on April 14 to May 17.

“During this time, other than a few exceptions, intercity travel will not be permitted by private vehicle during curfew hours (7pm on weekday evenings until 5am the following morning; 7pm on Friday evening until 5am Monday morning).

“During curfew hours, intercity travel is only permitted using public transport.

“Public transport will be limited to 50 percent capacity, with no standing passengers allowed.”

The good news is, the only part of the curfew which applies to visitors is the impact it will have on the opening and closing hours of amenities such as cafes or restaurants.

All other parts of the curfew “do not apply to those visiting for tourism” according to the FCDO.

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