UK travellers to Turkey: pre-travel PCR tests no longer needed if you’ve had Covid-19 or are double-vaccinated

People arriving in Turkey from Britain no longer have to present a negative PCR test result ahead of travel if they are double vaccinated or have recently recovered from coronavirus.

The good news was announced by the Turkish government on Thursday evening, offering a welcome boost to the country’s tourism sector ahead of the British school half-term at the end of October.

Turkey’s new PCR exemption rules came into force immediately. From 1 October, arriving in Turkey travellers who have completed a full course of Covid-19 vaccinations approved by the Turkish Health Ministry or World Health Organisation no longer need a negative PCR test result.

Those who have proof of recovering from coronavirus in the last six months are also exempt from pre-travel PCR tests.

The change in PCR rules for British travellers mean that an exempt family of four holidaying in Turkey will save between £400 and £600 on private Covid-19 tests.

For those who are not vaccinated, a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Turkey is still compulsory. Alternatively, passengers can opt for a cheaper, faster antigen test, but this must be taken no more than 48 hours before the time they are due to enter the country.

All travellers aged 12 or over entering Turkey must still complete an online passenger locator form no more than 72 hours before travel. Each passenger requires their own form and should there be any change in the scheduled arrival (change of flight, for example), another form must be completed.

Turkey is traditionally a popular holiday destination with Britons, but has been off-limits since May because it placed on the UK’s Covid-19 Red list. Last month, the British government moved Turkey back to Amber, re-opening the country to mass tourism from the UK.

The latest travel rule changes have been warmly welcomed by the travel industry too, with Pegasus among the first to announce increased direct flights between Turkey and the UK.

A statement from the Turkish Tourism Board said: “Turkey is ready and excited to welcome back travellers from across the UK this month and beyond.

“With no requirement for PCR tests, and following our removal from the UK government red list, travelling to Turkey couldn’t be easier. Turkey is the perfect destination for UK families this half term.”

Steve Heapy, chief executive of and Jet2holidays, also welcomed the latest announcements. He told Travel Weekly that Turkey is “one of our most popular destinations for customers who want some late-summer sunshine.”

“Since restarting flights and holidays to Turkey from all of our UK bases last month we have experienced enormous demand and this will only increase further on the back of such positive news,” he added.