Turkey has gone into a total lockdown effective today, lasting until May 17, 2021, banning all interstate travel and most shopping.
The lockdown excludes foreign tourists who are still welcomed and can enter open facilities (likely only at tourist destinations).
Here’s an excerpt from the Hurriyet Daily News:
Turkey hopes full lockdown will be good for tourism
The tourism sector in Turkey is hopeful that current coronavirus pandemic measures will reduce the number of infections and pave the way for tourists to visit.
“We hope to enter the summer season as a country with a reduced number of cases and this will positively affect the tourism movements during the summer season,” said Firuz Bağlıkaya, the head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB). “All our wish is not to lose more lives by reaching effective results as soon as possible in our fight against the virus,” he added.
Anadolu Agency reports that tourists are excluded:
International tourists will be exempt from lockdown rules in Turkey, the country’s tourism minister said Tuesday.
The country’s partial or full lockdown since the onset of the coronavirus has never applied to tourists, Nuri Ersoy said addressing an event held in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.
“They freely tour with their passports, visit museum and archaeological sites. Being a tourist is advantageous in Turkey,” Ersoy stressed.
Covid-19 Situation in Turkey:
The daily infections are down while the deaths are still creeping up. I am not sure what percentage of positive cases these tests in Turkey catch and whether deaths are correctly categorized as Covid-related.
I guess that Turkey tries to bring the number of cases down to get to the “Green” list of countries where tourists can travel without having to quarantine or do multiple Covid-related tests when returning home.
Turkey has stayed mostly open for tourism arrivals the entire Covid-19 pandemic that may or may not have been the right choice for the polarizing president.