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Turkey to require negative COVID-19 test result for travel

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 file photo, under the watchful eye of Prof. Dr. Iftahar Koksal, left, nurse Arzu Yildirim, center, administers a dose of the CoronaVac vaccine, made by Sinovac, currently on phase III clinical trials at Acibadem Hospital in Istanbul. The experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company is 91.25% effective, a Turkish health official said on Thursday, Dec. 24. The efficacy rate announced by Turkey could not be immediately verified independently. Turkey, which has has among the worst infection rates in the world. has signed a deal for 50 million doses of the vaccine. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ISTANBUL – Turkey is enacting precautions for international travel, requiring a negative COVID-19 test for passengers to enter the country starting Monday until March.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted a statement Friday saying travelers would need to present a negative result from a PCR test taken in a 72-hour window to board international flights en route to Turkey. Previously, tests weren't required for travel to Turkey.

The rule would apply to all land and sea arrivals starting Wednesday. Travelers would be quarantined at their destination if they don’t have test results.

Travelers arriving from the United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa in the past 10 days would have to show a negative test result and go into mandatory quarantine for at least seven days until a second test.

Turkey has among the worst infection rates in the world, with a weekly average of more than 20,000 confirmed daily infections. The total death toll is 19,371, according to official statistics.