Turkey is one of the most popular countries among Russian tourists. But, as you know, because of the pandemic this summer, Russia closed the border to Turkey and some other countries. But it is important to understand that, in principle, the Turkish borders are open to foreigners, that is, you can enter the country without restrictions. Therefore, many Russians are looking for other ways to get to Turkey now.
When will the borders to Turkey be opened?
Many today are interested in when the borders of Russia and Turkey will be opened in the summer of 2021, but the forecasts are still disappointing. Some experts say with confidence that Russia will open the border to Turkey in June-July this year. Others believe that the borders to Turkey and some other countries may remain closed until the fall or even longer.
Today you can get to Turkey from Moscow by air, but ticket prices bite. They start at 60,000 rubles. And not everyone can get on board the plane that flies to Turkey from Russia.
There are regular flights to Turkey:
- Aeroflot SU 2136 on Tuesdays and Fridays;
- Turkish Airlines TK416 Mondays and Fridays.
On June 11 ATOR (Association of Russian Tour Operators) sent a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova. The letter asked to consider the early restoration of flights to 11 countries with massive outbound destinations, including Turkey.
Russian President V.V. Putin is aware of the concern of the tourist association and promised that as soon as 60% of Russians are vaccinated, the borders can be opened. The approximate deadline for lifting the restrictions is September this year. He in no way prohibits anyone from vacationing abroad, but he also asks not to forget about the personal responsibility of everyone.
In the near future, a delegation from the Russian Federation will arrive in Antalya to get acquainted with the epidemiological situation in Turkey, within the framework of negotiations on the restoration of tourist traffic. This was announced on June 11 by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I would like to hope that the negotiations will be successful and the borders with Turkey will open in July.
Requirements for Russians to enter Turkey
Upon arrival in the country in the summer of 2021, Russian tourists must have a passport, a coronavirus test and preferably have medical insurance that covers treatment for COVID-19. You do not need a visa to Turkey if you do not plan to stay at the resort for more than 60 days.
In addition, Russian tourists must, no later than three days before entering the country, fill out a special electronic form on the website https://register.health.gov.tr and receive a HES code. Each tourist, without exception, fills in the questionnaire. Parents fill it out for children. The application can be submitted in electronic or printed form.
Help for entering Turkey
Russian tourists who have not been ill with coronavirus and have not been vaccinated must provide test results for COVID-19, and tests must be taken no later than 72 hours before departure to Turkey.
A rapid test for COVID-19 antigens, carried out no later than 48 hours before departure, is also suitable.
Vaccinated tourists in Turkey must submit a vaccination certificate in English. Only 2 doses are taken into account, the latter must be done no later than 14 days before the trip. Sputnik V vaccine is approved by the Turkish government.
From June 1, 2021, Russian tourists who have already been ill with COVID-19 can present a certificate of a previous illness.
Need to know: Turkey reserves the right to randomly test some tourists.
Tourists who flew to Turkey this spring say that in fact, PCR tests are checked only at our airport and they stick a special sticker on the back cover of their passport. On arrival in Turkey, the test is usually not required. In rare exceptions, someone may be asked to show a sticker, but this does not happen often.
If you have previously been in countries with a high level of coronavirus disease, for example, in Denmark, Great Britain or South Africa, you will have to self-isolate in Turkey for a period of 10 to 14 days.
What flights can you fly to Turkey?
Since direct flights from Russia to Turkey are practically not available in the summer of 2021, Russian tourists are looking for other ways to get to the land of the hot sun. Indeed, there are such ways.
We fly to Turkey through Minsk
One of the most affordable and popular ways for Russians to get to Turkey in the summer is through Belarus. There are direct flights from Moscow to Minsk with Belavia, Aerofolot and Utair airlines. It is better to buy tickets in advance so as not to overpay. Ticket prices start at 10,000 rubles.
Russian tourists are advised to choose flights from Moscow and Minsk in such a way that there is an interval of 3-6 hours between them, as there may be unforeseen delays on the way.
From April 30, 2021, Lastochka high-speed trains run from Moscow to Minsk. In the morning and in the evening. In Moscow, they leave from Belorussky railway station at 6:20 and 16:00. Arrival times are 13:10 and 22:55, respectively. The ticket price is 1500 rubles.
Also, passenger trains run daily from Moscow. Departure times are 19:53, 22:13 and 22:
Also, passenger trains run daily from Moscow. Departure times are 19:53, 22:13 and 22:17 h. There are reserved seats (from 2500 rubles) and compartment (from 5200 rubles) carriages.
When planning a trip from Moscow to Turkey via Minsk in the summer, it is important to keep track of the time so that the validity period of the PRC test does not exceed 72 hours. Otherwise, you will have to do another one in Minsk or the airport in Turkey. These are unnecessary costs and wasted time.
We fly to Turkey through Europe
Another way to get to Turkey from Russia in summer is by transit flights through Europe. In this way, Russians can fly through Austria and Germany, Italy and Latvia, the Netherlands, Serbia, Poland, Finland, France, as well as through the UAE and Kazakhstan.
The most popular flights in the summer of 2021 are via Belgrade, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Tashkent, Bishkek and some other airports.
It is important that the flight is issued with a single ticket. Otherwise, additional difficulties may arise with paperwork and delays on the way. Before buying tickets, it is better to clarify in advance all the rules and restrictions of transit countries this summer related to the coronavirus.
We fly to Turkey via Chisinau
A flight to Turkey through Moldova is available not only for residents of Moscow, but also for Russians from other regions where there are direct Air Moldova flights to Chisinau. Again, it is important to issue a single transit ticket. And you also need to carefully monitor that the term of the PRC test does not expire before the time of transplantation in Chisinau and disembarkation in Turkey, otherwise you will not end up with trouble.
A flight to Turkey via Chisinau will cost even less than via Belarus.
Ferry Sochi - Trabzon to Turkey in 2021
The Sochi-Trabzon ferry has not operated since 2017. Until today, maritime traffic has not been restored. Previously, the cost of ferry tickets to Turkey started at 2800 rubles.
Another ferry goes from Trabzon to the port to the "Caucasus" in Kerch. It does not carry passengers, mostly only trucks. But with its help, you can send a car from Turkey, and then meet it in the Russian Federation. But you yourself will have to fly by plane.
Border Russia - Georgia, Verhniy Lars
On June 1, Georgia opened its land borders to foreign tourists. To enter, you must present a vaccination certificate or PCR test, made no earlier than 72 hours in advance.
But, unfortunately, the Russian land borders to Georgia remain closed for tourist purposes, according to the order of the government of the Russian Federation No. 763-r. Only Russians who have good reasons for this can cross them. According to the order of the government of Russia No. 1170-r, people who have a second citizenship, a residence permit in another country, or another document that confirms the fact of permanent residence in it can cross the border.
In addition, according to the decree No. 1291-r, ownership of real estate in Turkey can be indicated as the reason. You need to provide a TAPU (certificate of ownership of a house or apartment), translated into Russian and certified by a notary. This service costs 2,000 rubles. We have already written about this earlier and you can read in more detail in this article.
Sometimes tourists manage to cross the border for good personal reasons - funerals, caring for sick relatives, etc., without documentary evidence. But it all depends on the border guards, they may not miss it. The human factor has not been canceled.
Ferry Istanbul (Karasu) - Chornomorsk, Ukraine
There is a ferry from Chernomorsk to the port of Karasu, Istanbul (Turkey), on which you can cross the Black Sea both as a passenger and with your car. There are two ways to get to Chernomorsk from Russia. Directly through the border points of the Russian Federation and Ukraine in the Kharkiv region, if there are grounds for crossing the border. If they are not there, then you can drive through Belarus. And already in Belarus, cross the Ukrainian border. It is important not to forget about compliance with all the necessary formalities in connection with the coronavirus. Timely pass PCR tests, take out insurance for crossing Ukraine, have insurance for the Green Card car and other documents.
Ticket prices start at $ 85 for a place in a four-berth cabin and $ 200 for a separate cabin. The price includes food and insurance. Discounts for children - up to 12 years old 50%, up to 5 years old 70%. If the child is under one year old, it can be transported by ferry for 10% of the ticket price. For transportation of a passenger car, you will have to pay from $ 325. Tickets can be bought online on the carrier's website.
• Ferries from Chernomorsk (Ukraine) run every three to four days, departing at 21:00 h.
• Ferries from Karasu, Istanbul (Turkey) depart at 23:59 hrs.
Karasu port is located 130 km from Istanbul. Travel time is 27 hours. The carrier company is UKRFERRY. The sea line is served by the vessels Kaunas Seives and Greifswald.
Restrictions for tourists in Turkey
In Turkey, this summer, restrictions related to the coronavirus were introduced, but they mostly concern local residents and foreigners with a residence permit in Turkey. But these restrictions do not apply to foreigners who came as tourists in a short-term visa-free regime - up to 60 days.
The curfew is from 21:00 to 5:00 in the morning, but tourists can freely move around the country 24/7 if they have a passport and hotel registration data. Only tourists can rest on the beaches of Turkey. Local residents are prohibited.
Public institutions in Turkey should not be more than 50% full. In all crowded areas, everyone must wear protective masks, including tourists. In theory, the police can issue a fine for the lack of a mask, but in practice they are more often limited to a warning.
On weekdays, restaurants and cafes in Turkey are open from 7:00 to 20:00. Most catering establishments are open to takeaways. This does not apply to restaurants and cafes, which are hotels where tourists rest. They may have their own visiting rules.
Turkish government agencies are open from 10:00 to 16:00. Markets are open on weekdays from 7:00 to 19:00, and on weekends from 10:00 to 17:00.
Some sights of Turkey are closed to tourists, but information about this is constantly changing. At the entrance to museums, shopping centers and other establishments, you are asked to present the HES code. It is better to take it with you in printed or electronic form by downloading it to your phone.
Coronavirus situation in Turkey
Today in Turkey, the situation with the coronavirus is normalizing. Some provinces even report zero incidence. At the moment, the number of cases in Antalya has dropped to 31.9 per 100 thousand population, which is 10 times lower than during the outbreak in April. In Mugla, there are slightly more 39.8 cases (6 times less than in April), in Izmir - 41.2 cases. And in Istanbul - 63.9. In total, 96.8 thousand cases of infection were recorded in Turkey from May 26 to June 8.
To resume air traffic, according to the criteria of the headquarters of the Russian Federation, over the past two weeks the number of cases of COVID-19 should not exceed 40 cases per 100 thousand population.
What do you need to know upon arrival to Russia from Turkey?
From April 5, 2021, Russia has new rules for Russian tourists returning to the territory of the Russian Federation by land and air.
Immediately before flying to Russia, Russians must fill out an application form for arriving in the Russian Federation on the website https://www.gosuslugi.ru/. In it you need to indicate passport information, flight number, country of stay, date of arrival, symptoms (if any). The application form is presented upon arrival at the checkpoint.
Upon returning to the Russian Federation from Turkey, all Russian tourists are required to pass a PCR test for coronavirus within three days. The test results must be uploaded to the GosUSlugi.ru website. You can take the express test both at the airport upon arrival in the country, and in any other clinic in the Russian Federation, which is recommended by Rospotrebnadzor. Citizens who have not uploaded the results of the PCR test upon arrival from abroad can be fined 15-40 thousand rubles. If other people are infected with COVID-19, a fine of 150-300 thousand rubles is imposed, up to criminal liability.
Before receiving the results of the PCR test, a citizen must comply with the self-isolation regime, not visit public places, and limit communication with family and friends.
The rules apply to all Russian tourists who arrived in the Russian Federation from Turkey, Europe and the CIS, regardless of the chosen transport - plane, train, ferry, car, etc.
On April 20, 2021, another requirement was introduced, according to which Russian tourists are required to make another coronavirus test within 5 days after returning to the Russian Federation from Turkey. At least a day must pass between the first and second tests. The result of the second PCR test must also be posted on the website gosuslugi.ru.
If you look at the big picture from all angles, then we can safely say that the list of restrictions and rules has been significantly reduced compared to last year. And soon there will be fewer restrictions, and the requirements will be softer.
The situation will improve soon. Negotiations on the opening of the border between Russia and Turkey are promising positive results over the past weeks.