COVID-19 Coronavirus Istanbul Turkey: Info, restrictions, test centers

Last Updated on April 30, 2021

Here you can find COVID-19 coronavirus Turkey guidance and resources for travelling safely to Istanbul, including latest info, updates and travel advice.

Coronavirus Turkey Resources

We recommend you to check the below official resources with travel alerts and warnings before you plan your travel to Istanbul and Turkey.

Covid-19 Restrictions during Ramadan

  • Ramadan dates: Tuesday, 13 April 2021 to Wednesday, 12 May 2021.
  • Lockdown nationwide from 19:00 pm to 05:00 am
  • Restaurants and cafes only provide takeaway services. Restaurants of the hotels will be able to serve only to their guests with no more than 2 people are served at the same table.
  • Iftar and sahur events will not be held nationwide.
  • Tarawih prayer in mosques will not be performed collectively with the congregation.

Coronavirus Istanbul Turkey: Latest Updates

  • Istanbul is currently subject to very high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • As of April 26, 2021, lockdown nationwide from Thursday, April 29, 19:00 pm to Monday, May, 17, 05:00 am is placed for 18 days. Tourists are exempt from these restrictions.
  • During curfew markets, bakeries, grocery stores, will be open between 10.00 am to 17.00 pm. Chain markets will be closed on Sundays.
  • Museums are open (double check their official website for visiting hours), Bosphorus boat tours with entertainment are not available.
  • Except for those aged 65 and over and under the age of 18, people are able to go to the nearest market, bakery, grocery store only on foot for their needs.
  • Restaurants, cafes, patisseries will only give take-away services.
  • Face-to-face training will be suspended. All exams will be postponed.
  • As of April 22, 2021, restrictions on UK and Denmark flights are lifted.
  • Weddings, wedding halls, swimming pools, gym, beauty centers, Turkish bath, spa, sauna centers, theme parks, internet cafes, theaters, cinemas, concert halls and all similar services at the workplaces will temporarily be closed until May 17, 2021.
  • See the risk group of all Turkish cities map from (at the bottom of the page – Turkish only)
  • As of November 12, 2020, smoking in open areas is banned. This includes streets and other open public areas.
  • As of September 8, 2020, the wearing face mask outside is mandatory throughout Turkey. This includes public transport, streets, parks, gardens, workplaces, streets, picnic areas, markets, supermarkets, marketplaces, hair salons, shopping malls, etc.
  • You should avoid using public transport in rush hours and stroll at the very crowded places. Walking if possible or using a taxi would be better.
  • You must wear face mask even you are in your private vehicle with at least two person inside.
  • Standing passengers are not allowed in the public transportation vehicles.
  • Travelers already in Istanbul can dial the 112 emergency service within Istanbul and Turkey to get further information and emergency medical treatment.
  • If you want to take info and access the Turkish Ministry of Health COVID-19 Telephone Hotline (Turkish/English/Arabic), you can dial 184 within Istanbul and Turkey.
  • Local authorities may put additional COVID-19 restrictions with little or no advance notice.

Covid-19 PCR Test in Istanbul Turkey

If you are in Istanbul and want to have a Covid-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Test, Antigen Test, IgG, and IgM Antibody Test directly at your home, hotel, or any address, as well as by your own pace at the laboratory on location ( 2 minutes to Taksim Square), approved by the Turkish Ministry of Health, you can make your appointment online via our partner IWC. You can get the results on the same day (next day at 12:00 for afternoon tests).

The Covid-19 PCR Test report is prepared in English, complying with foreign travel procedures, and internationally valid in 190 countries. You can get the report on your Smartphone and show on the border before your departure abroad.

How It Works?

After your Booking you will get all Information and details in your Conformation Mail.
Show your Conformation mail to our Staff and get access to the Test.

PCR Test directly at the laboratory on location

  • Book the Day Online
  • Visit the laboratory (2 minutes walking distance to Taksim Square, see location map)
  • Show your confirmation email to the staff
  • Take your PCR test
  • Use the QR Code to get the results with your Identity Card number
  • Get the results and save it to your Smartphone
  • You can show the result from your Smartphone on the Border

PCR Test directly at your address (hotel, home, etc.)

  • Book the Day Online
  • Lab staff will visit you at your address between 08:30 and 12:00
  • Show your confirmation email to the staff
  • Take your PCR test
  • Use the QR Code to get the results with your Identity Card number
  • Get the results and save it to your Smartphone
  • You can show the result from your Smartphone on the Border

More Info

You will get the results on the same day (next day for the tests made after 17:00 pm.)

The laboratory is approved and certificated by the Turkish Ministry of Health and CE.

Your PCR test results are valid in 190 countries except Qatar.

PCR Test price is €26 (250 TL, same in all hospitals and clinics in Turkey). If you want the test at your address there is €10 additional service fee.

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount when they book online. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official IWC page.

Make Your Covid-19 PCR Test Appointment Online

Can I visit Istanbul now?

Yes, borders are open and you can visit Istanbul and all other cities in Turkey. You should just make sure you keep yourself safe, responsible and follow the latest restrictions and COVID-secure guidelines.

However, many countries have travel restrictions in their own and you should check your own government’s guidelines and travel advice before you plan your travel to Istanbul and Turkey.

People arriving in Turkey from abroad no longer need to self-isolate.

How early should I get the Covid-19 PCR Test before arrival?

You’ll need to have your Covid test within 72 hours of arrival in Turkey. We would recommend you have it around 24-48 hours before your flight to Istanbul.

Measures at the Istanbul Airports

When you arrive at Istanbul airports or any other airports in Turkey, you’ll go through thermal screening for temperature checks before the passport control.

You are also asked to complete a passenger locator form that is supplied by the airline.

If there is a suspect with COVID 19, you’ll be taken to an isolated place to stay under quarantine for further PCR testing.

If you have serious symptoms, you’ll be taken taken to an isolation room and stay there for 2 hours for getting the PCR test results.

If your PCR test result is positive, than you’ll be sent to a hospital, and than you’ll decide whether to be treated at the hospital or hotel.

If the isolation period will last longer than your planned trip, extra accommodation costs will be covered by the hotel.

If you won’t want to stay in Istanbul during the isolation period, and want to return to home country, you’ll be allowed on board with the discretion of the airline or captain.

You’re advised to buy health insurance packages before arriving at Istanbul, Turkey. And if you’ll have symptomatic after arriving at your hotel, than you’ll be taken for PCR test at the contracted health care facilities.

Medical treatment

If you are already in Istanbul or any other cities in Turkey and need an emergency medical assistance, use the 112 emergency service to get further information and ask for an ambulance.

You should know that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid in Istanbul and Turkey. So that you are advised to contact your travel health insurance company whether you are referred to a medical facility for treatment or not.

You should also check whether your travel health insurance covers treatment for COVID-19.

Using Public Transportation with HES Code

Due to latest Covid-19 precautions, you’ll need to activate a HES code when using using public transportation.

To activate the HES code, you should synchronize your HES code with your Istanbulkart. Otherwise you’ll not be able to use the public transportation.

Steps to activate your HES code with Istanbulkart

  • You should send SMS to 2023 and type HES (space) Nationality (space) Passport Serial Number (space) Year of birth (space) Surname
  • Upon getting your HES code, you should visit the Istanbulkart website on (English language available)
  • And than you should select “I am a foreigner, I want to continue by my passport
    number.’’ box. Also note that your card number is your Istanbulkart serial number.

IstanbulKart Online with Free Hotel Delivery/Airport Pick-Up

Istanbul Welcome Card offers online purchase of the IstanbulKart with free hotel delivery or airport pick-up. It is a great option for the ones who want to skip the hassle of waiting and buying along the machines, kiosks at the airports, tram/metro stations.

Your Istanbulkart will be delivered to your hotel (in the areas of Taksim, Sultanahmet, and Besiktas, AirBnb hotels are not included) or you can pick it up at the Airport (only between 8:00 AM and 11:00 PM).

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

The is an innovative city pass. It includes fast track entry to 12 museums (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Harem, Basilica Cistern, etc), 3 tours with historian guide, 20 rides with public transportation (IstanbulKart), Bosphorus Cruise and digital guide book and city map. It also offers 20% discounts at the most important Istanbul attractions on their shop. With this card you’ll skip the long ticket lines and not have to pick anything up.

Buy Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.

Istanbul Welcome Card Premium

Valid for 7 days, free delivery to your hotel/airport pick-up and includes; Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace fast track entry tickets with 30 minutes guidance and Audio Guide App in 10 languages, Istanbulkart with 10 Rides, Bosphours Cruise (1,5 hours), Digital Guide Book and City Map.

Buy Istanbul Welcome Card Premium

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.

Combo Tickets for Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern

Valid for 3 days, digital pass, no need a printed ticket, guidance service with certified guides.

Buy Combo Tickets

Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount.


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