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Turkish Airlines transit Istanbul Italy Covid

We are planning to visit Rome next month and have done some extensive work. Now choosing airlines we see Turkish airlines has the best price by far Boston to Rome, but transits Istanbul, which is on Italy's E list. The regulations are confusing -- we have looked at the official government sites but there's no definition of 'transit'.

A bit clearer is the official danish site:
If, on the date of entry, you are arriving from a COVID-19 risk country, region or area, you do not need to self-isolate after entering Denmark.
This requires that during your journey, you did not stay for significant period of time in a COVID-19 high-risk country, region or area (a significant period is defined as staying overnight, going shopping, etc., in a COVID-19 high-risk country, region or area). If you stop only to refuel at a service station or are in transit at the airport of a COVID-19 high-risk country, region or area, you are still considered to be travelling from a COVID-19 risk country, region or area and therefore you do not need to self-isolate after entry.

It seems that there are several categories of countries: EU/Schengen, OECD, risk, high-risk, so a careful reading of the above
seems to say that if you travel from a risk country (USA) and merely transit at a high-risk country airport(Turkey) , you're status doesn't
change -- you are still in the 'risk' category rather than the 'high risk' cagegory.

But what of Italy?
Does anyone know?

Posted by
12933 posts

The way things are going, it could change at any time. And honestly, I think it would be false economy to risk flying through a country that is currently on the “E” list, just to save some money. What Denmark says about this is not relevant to Italy.

A few months ago, transiting airside through Heathrow was OK with some European countries (Germany and Switzerland, among the ones I checked). But it was not OK with Italy: USA residents who passed through Heathrow on their way were required to self-isolate for X days upon reaching Italy, even if they stayed airside at LHR and never technically “entered” the UK. So we changed our flights from Seattle—-London—-Milan to Seattle——JFK—-Milan to avoid transiting through any third country altogether. Fortunately I was able to cancel the British Airways trip for a refund, and book a new one with Emirates for the JFK to Milan portion.

Since you haven’t booked yet, you can start with a flight that is US to Italy direct. If there aren’t any airlines that offer such flights to Boston, consider heading down to JFK or other airport chat does offer such flights. It may be over-cautious, but better than getting caught in new, onerous quarantine rules by flying through a high-risk country (which keeps changing).

Posted by
12933 posts

That pretty much answers the OP’s question. Thanks for the link—-I will monitor that for changes between now and March for our own trip.

Posted by
13395 posts

Fortunately the A,B,C's don't apply to Hungary; cause I changed in Istanbul.

Posted by
3042 posts

As Lola said, things can change. And what the rules are in Denmark has nothing to do with the rules in Italy, every EU country sets their own rules.

But, as others have said, forget about Turkish airlines. I don't think you will be allowed in. The rules for E-countries are pretty clear in my opinion.

Entry into Italy from these countries does not require any authorization from the Ministry of Health but is allowed only for specific reasons: (not tourism)

It doesn't state that entry from includes transfer in an E-country. But in the next paragraph, they mention stay in the country and transfer in the country as the same thing.

The re-entry/entry into Italy, in case of stay/transit in the previous 14 days from this group of countries, is always allowed to:

And even if would be allowed in, a transfer in Istanbul means you have to quarantine for 10 days. So any savings have to be compared with a 10 day hotel bill.

When returning to Italy, if you have stayed in/transited through these countries in the previous 14 days, you must:

  • complete the digital Passenger Locator Form, which replaces the previous self-declaration
  • undergo a molecular or antigenic swab carried out within 72 hours prior to entry into Italy and the result of which is negative. Minors under the age of 6 are exempted from having a pre-departure swab test
  • notify the prevention department of the health authority responsible for the area of your entry (See page: COVID-19 Freephone numbers and regional information
  • reach the final destination in Italy only by private transport
  • undergo self-isolation at the address indicated on the Passenger Locator Form for 10 days
  • undergo an additional molecular or antigenic swab at the end of the 10-day self-isolation period

The flights are probably cheap for a reason, with very low demand Turkish is doing their best to find the few passengers that are willing/allowed to use the route. If you can't find a direct flight, I suggest you try to find a transfer in the US or in an EU country.