Turkey will no longer ask unvaccinated citizens to take a PCR test for COVID-19 before attending events such as concerts, plays or movies, the Interior Ministry said in two circulars issued on Jan. 15 and Jan. 16, Trend reports with reference to Hurriyet Daily News.
“The decision includes people who are not fully vaccinated or those who have not been impacted by the coronavirus in the last 180 days, too,” the circular sent to all 81 provinces by the Interior Ministry on Jan. 15 said.
However, PCR test requirement will continue for all domestic and international flights, according to another circular issued on Jan. 16.
The second circular was issued in order to correct misunderstandings about the directives of the general directorate of public health, it said.
According to the statement, unvaccinated civil servants, private sector employees and school personnel will also not be required PCR tests.
The decision followed Health Minister Fahrettin Koca’s statement on Jan. 12.
“Only those who show symptoms of the disease will be asked PCR tests,” Koca said in a video footage uploaded on Twitter.
“It seems the Omicron variant will reduce the danger of the pandemic,” he noted, adding: “Hospitalization increased by 10 percent since last month, however, daily cases jumped fourfold.”
Turkey is one of the leading countries in vaccination rates in the world, with some 139 million doses administered since the COVID-19 vaccination program started in January 2021.
Around 57 million people have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 52 million residents fully vaccinated.
The number of people that have had booster shots is around 23 million.