Turkey will not allow the entry of Russian tourists vaccinated with KoviVac and EpiVacKorona vaccines developed by Russian scientists unless they present a negative PCR test for COVID-19, according to a new regulation.
"Our office in Turkey last night confirmed that only two-dose vaccines are recognized in the country,” such as the Sputnik V vaccine, Moscow based-tour operator Intourist told Russian news agency RIA Novosti. This decision makes the Sputnik V vaccine the only acceptable one among the three jabs developed by Russia.
“Previously, they recognized all vaccines registered in the country of departure," the Intourist explained, noting that new changes were also explained on the websites of the Ministry of Health and the Russian Embassy.
Those vaccinated with other jabs – except the single-shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – must provide the results of a PCR or antigen test.
No exception was made for the Russian analogous vaccine Sputnik Light, a one-dose vaccine approved for emergency use in Russia in May. It used a similar design as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It was previously explained that while Sputnik V has an efficacy rate of 91%, the single dose has 79.4% efficacy.
Russia is an important tourism market for Turkey with those coming from the country continuously making up the majority of foreign tourists.
Some 571,000 tourists from Russia arrived in Turkey from January through May, accounting for 15.5% of all arrivals in the period, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry data.
At the beginning of this month, the resort town of Kuşadası in Turkey’s Aegean province of Aydın welcomed its first cruise ship after a 16-month pause due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions that brought travel to a halt. The Blue Sapphire docked at the Kuşadası Ege Port and carried 450 passengers, consisting mostly of Russian citizens.