ANKARA

Turkey will require all international passengers arriving by air starting from Dec. 28, and all travellers arriving by air, land, and sea routes starting from Dec. 30 to submit negative PCR virus test results obtained within the last 72 hours before their departure, the country’s health minister said on Friday.

“Otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter the country,” as part of measures to stem the spread of novel coronavirus, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter.

In a written statement, Koca said Turkey follows the most up-to-date scientific developments and takes necessary measures to maintain control over the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to threaten the world.

“Those who do not present the negative PCR test results will not be allowed on the plane on the way to Turkey,” he added.

He said new measures were needed for international arrivals in Turkey due to the rise in the number of cases all over the world and the acceleration of the pandemic.

“Those who do not submit their [negative] test [results] at the border gate upon entering our country will be quarantined at the addresses where they reside. This measure will continue until March 1, 2021,” said the statement.

Earlier, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines also announced that it obliges all international flight passengers to submit negative PCR virus test results obtained within the last 72 hours before boarding.

“On request of our Health Ministry, all passengers coming from abroad starting from Dec. 28 will be asked to submit negative PCR virus test results obtained within the last 72 hours before boarding, as part of Turkey’s fight against Covid,” the company’s CEO Bilal Eksi wrote on Twitter.

Turkey late Sunday temporarily banned flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa due to new fast-spreading strain of coronavirus.

The flights between Turkey and the Netherlands resumed Wednesday while the ban is still in place on flights from the rest.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Airlines conducted repatriation flights to the UK on Friday.

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