While the pandemic is far from over, most of us are learning to adjust to life with Covid-19. From work to leisure time, we have changed some habits and adopted new ones. It’s starting to feel as though life is settling down – and the good news for many is their summer holiday in Turkey is still on the cards.
Thanks to the country’s rapid response to the coronavirus, with swift lockdowns and strict restrictions introduced early on, the daily number of reported Covid-19 cases is falling. It’s led to travel restrictions being lifted, which means visitors from several countries – including the UK and Russia – can still come and enjoy a vacation.
But what can you expect if you come to Antalya this summer? Well, although there are some rules you’ll need to follow, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your holiday on the Turkish Riviera to the full.
Hello and welcome – we’re open!
Restaurants, cafes, beaches, parks, shops, museums and most public facilities have been allowed to open for several weeks now. It’s an ongoing process – as there are naturally fewer holidaymakers, not everywhere rushed to fling open their doors immediately.
But as more flights arrive and the number of visitors increases, it’s definitely getting busier. You’ll find the warm welcome you’ve come to expect from Antalya’s traders – and rest assured they are pleased to see you.
You might notice a few changes, such as fewer people on your favourite boat trip. Presently, captains are only allowed to sail at half capacity to allow room for social distancing. They and other excursion companies are also required to sanitise vehicles and equipment daily, and you can expect to be offered hand sanitiser regularly.
All business owners are very aware of the need to protect both their own health and yours, while still making sure you have a wonderful time. Your holiday may feel a little different this year, but Antalya province is as beautiful as ever.
Remember to cover up
If you’re in a public place such as shops, the market, local attractions, or using public transport – including taxis and ferries, as well as the dolmuş – it’s currently mandatory to wear a facemask in Turkey. You also have to wear a mask to the beach, although it can be removed once you are settled – and no, you don’t have to wear it in the sea. If you’re eating out, you can remove your mask at your table, but put it back on if you get up to visit the restroom.
In some provinces, it’s compulsory to wear a mask as soon as you leave your home (or wherever you are staying). While that doesn’t apply in Antalya province, if you’re planning any excursions out of the area you should bear it in mind.
Anyone not following the rules on mask-wearing can be fined 900 lira – around £105 – so ignoring them could prove expensive.
When you enter a restaurant, café or lokanta, a member of staff will take your temperature. You’ll notice everyone working there is wearing a mask, and tables are either spread out or guests are seated further apart.
Condiments such as salt and pepper are provided in disposable packaging, and you’ll find hand sanitiser on your table. There are strict rules for establishments to sanitise their premises every day, and tables and chairs should be treated between customers.
At time of writing, all establishments should close at midnight and dancing is not permitted. However, the situation is regularly reviewed and updated so this may have changed by the time you travel.
Keep your distance
If you’ve been visiting Antalya for a while, chances are you’ve made some good friends and are looking forward to seeing them. You might usually greet each other with the traditional hug and kiss on each cheek, but that’s another change you’ll notice. Most people now settle for a nod of the head, perhaps placing their hand on their heart, or kissing their own hand to the other person. It’s hard to keep a distance, especially for the Turkish people who are naturally so friendly, but everyone is aware of the need to be careful.
As we adapt to ‘the new normal’, the property market is beginning to move again. We’re here to help if you’re ready to buy your own holiday home or plan your life in Turkey, and we’ll hold your hand every step of the way. Take a look at our current portfolio of property in Antalya province – we’ve got stunning villas in Kalkan, gorgeous apartments in Alanya and everything in between – and we’ll be delighted to answer any questions you may have.