Turkey Govt eases PCR requirements for unvaccinated

Unvaccinated people will no longer be required to submit a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result in order to travel in domestic transit or attend crowded events in Turkey, according to local officials.

The Istanbul Governor's Office said in a statement that PCR tests would not be required before traveling, taking buses, trains, or other forms of public transit, citing a letter provided by the Interior Ministry to all provinces. It went on to say that the same condition would apply to going to concerts, plays, or movies.

The statement also stated that "unvaccinated civil servants, private-sector employees, and school professors will not be compelled to take a PCR test." On Wednesday, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the government has eliminated the necessity for PCR tests for COVID screening and close contacts of COVID-positive persons. He went on to say that the testing would only be done on persons who had symptoms.

Meanwhile, over the past two weeks, the Omicron variety has been the most common COVID-19 strain in the country, with daily instances exceeding 65,000.

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