Turkey will quarantine passengers arriving in Turkey who have been to one of six countries during the last 14 days amid concerns of rising COVID-19 cases, Turkish media reported on Wednesday.
In an effort to contain the recent COVID-19 resurgence, Turkish authorities have decided to quarantine passengers coming to Turkey after visiting Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal or Sri Lanka during the last 14 days, the Demirören news agency reported, citing Turkish Airlines (THY).
The Interior Ministry previously announced that flights to those countries were suspended.
Passengers from these countries will be quarantined at designated hotels and charged for the cost of transfer from the airport to the hotel as well as accommodation.
THY’s statement noted that passengers coming from countries specified will be allowed to transit Turkey.
“People aged 6 and above who arrive in Turkey from countries other Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka but who are found to have visited these countries during the last 14 days will be required to submit a negative PCR test result, conducted at least 72 hours before arrival in Turkey, and quarantined at the places designated by the governor’s offices for 14 days,” the statement said.
The quarantine will be terminated upon a negative PCR test conducted at the end of 14 days while those with positive PCR results will be isolated for another 14 days, according to the statement.
The İstanbul Governor’s Office has designated 11 hotels in the city for quarantine, and passengers will be able to make reservations at these hotels, listed on the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s website. The daily accommodation rate has been set at TL 1,600.
The decision came at a time when a fourth wave of COVID-19 was sweeping across Turkey, particularly due to its highly contagious Delta variant.
Delta, first identified in India, has the potential “to be more lethal because it’s more efficient in the way it transmits between humans and it will eventually find those vulnerable individuals who will become severely ill, have to be hospitalized and potentially die,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said during a recent news conference.
Despite growing concerns about the Delta variant, Turkey has gradually reopened after going through its first full national lockdown in late April.
Since the reopening, there has been a steady rise in the number of COVID-19 cases as well as deaths from the disease.
Turkey reported 26,597 coronavirus infections on Tuesday, with 124 people dying of the virus in the past 24 hours. The number of cases was around 4,500 in early July.