The SARS-CoV-2 virus has challenged our way of life in unprecedented ways. A mere sore throat or sneeze fills our heart with dread. Commonly experienced symptoms of this infection are a continuous dry cough, high fever, tiredness, loss of smell and taste. The outbreak, which began in the Wuhan city of China, has spread globally. Many growing economies have entered a slump. That’s a bleak scenario. Fortunately, things are getting better by the day for most countries. That’s why you’re here. Therefore, you need to know everything about medical travel during COVID-19.
Coronavirus & Turkey
The tourism sector accounts for 12% of the Turkish economy. The government’s new tourism strategy targeted to bring over 75 million tourists with $65 billion in revenues by 2023. That year would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic. One can hope that this virus becomes a distant memory by that time.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the country welcomed almost 60 million tourists in 2019. Tourism alone contributed $34.5 billion to the Turkish economy last year. However, in the first quarter of 2020, the sector has declined by 11.4%. The number of foreign visitors has declined by 22.1%, on a yearly basis, in the first quarter, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s data.
For a country that hosts so many tourists, the coronavirus has brought destruction in its wake. It does, after all, rank as the sixth-largest tourist hotspot, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The tourists, of course, include those who come to the country for medical treatments, especially plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry. Those who’ve suffered from injuries that left them with permanent scars and deformities, the constant reminder of the pain can be distressing. So is being unhappy or insecure about a body part. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for a long time to make a change anymore.
Will my Medical Travel during COVID-19 be Safe in Turkey?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all non-essential travel to certain countries. However, Turkey is exempt from this advice. This entails the removal of England’s travel quarantine requirements. There is no need for you to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to the UK after 10th July, if you’re coming from Turkey. You can have a stress-free journey during COVID-19 as the country is “low-risk”. You can also responsibly enjoy your summer vacation here.
A “Safe Tourism” certification program has been introduced by the government, which will have the hospitality industry follow certain standards of hygiene. For restaurants, hotels, resorts, airports, airlines, transportation, and other facilities to reopen, they need to apply for this. An independent, international institution, RoyalCert International Registrars, will issue certificates.
Turkey has also introduced health insurance for foreigners so that they can travel safely in the country.
How Can I Safely Stay in Hotel During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Although hotels in Turkey are taking numerous steps to ensure the safety of their guests, there are some things that you can do for extra protection. The Tourism and Culture Ministry has issued a hygiene notice, which will have hotels set up thermal cameras. The purpose is, of course, to check the body temperature and isolate those who’re symptomatic of the coronavirus infection. Disinfection of luggage, along with TV and AC control remotes, will also take place. Room keycards will be cleaned using UV lights. Also, no room will be in usage for 24 hours after a guest has checked out.
Single-use utensils will serve food to guests. The elevators will only be used by one person at a time unless there’s a family. Hotel textiles that include bed sheets will be washed at a high temperature (70°C) to make sure that everything is clean.
Medical travel during COVID-19 will require you to stay in a hotel room. All public spaces carry a degree of risk these days. But you can try to avoid any undue exposure by avoiding crowded spaces, such as hotel lobbies. Moreover, before travelling to Turkey, make sure that you contact the hotel where you’ll be staying. Ask them what their hygiene policies are to protect the guests against coronavirus. A comprehensive and concise list should be available to them. If the hotel staff is unaware of PPE or doesn’t require wearing masks or gloves, you should stay away.
Before your plastic surgery or dental treatment, you can try to unwind by relaxing in the hotel room. However, do avoid the hotel pool, spa or gym. Of course, after the surgery, do not perform any strenuous activity as that can harm the final results and recovery period. Sweating under the sun or moving around too much is a big no-no.
Lastly, wherever you eventually do go, always wear your mask and gloves. Also, keep some extras with you. These should be accompanied by a hand sanitiser.
Is Travelling in Transfer Cars Safe?
Longevita will, of course, make sure that every step of your way is risk-free for your cosmetic surgery in Turkey. Inside the car, a partition will separate the passenger area from the driver seat. Glove and mask boxes are kept in the vehicle, along with disinfectants. Also, the transport vehicle goes through a cleaning and disinfection procedure every day.
On arrival, our driver will guide you towards the car. After you’ve reached the vehicle, the luggage compartment will be opened for you, and you’ll be shown a place to put your belongings. If you have any trouble with it, the driver will load the luggage for you after you’ve been seated. While maintaining a distance of 6 feet, our driver will open the car door.
Immediately afterwards, dispose of your old mask and gloves for new ones. A tape on information regarding social distancing rules and personal and in-vehicle precautions will also be played at the beginning of your ride. We’ve made sure that there’s a 50% control over the passenger capacity usage of the car.
As for our drivers, they all undergo a periodic medical assessment/test so you can travel at ease with them. However, if the passenger is the suspected source of COVID-19 infection, we’ll take immediate action and direct all involved towards the hospital to get tested for free.
Will it be Safe to Take a Flight for Medical Travel during COVID-19?
As long as you fulfil health and safety requirements, you’re going to have a safe flight. Your compliance with the standard procedures put into place at airports will make things go easily and smoothly. Passengers must wear masks at the airport and during the flight. You’ll also fill out a passenger information form after you’ve arrived in Turkey.
All patients will undergo medical examination and COVID-19 test free of charge at Longevita. All those who test positive will be referred to hospitals recommended by the Ministry of Health for treatment at their expense.
Make sure to check the websites of airports and airlines you’ll be flying with as they might’ve additional health regulations.
Are Terminal Areas of Airports Safe in Turkey?
Thermal cameras will screen all entrants of the terminal area. Anyone without a mask will not enter or be taken on board. Moreover, to avoid crowding, the only essential company will be granted access to the terminal. All the security checks made in the area will be contactless.
Passengers’ luggage and an e-passport will be disinfected using UV lights. Even the moving walkways and terminal buildings use a UV light system for disinfection. All passengers will find hand sanitizers at multiple points in the terminal. They can also buy PPE using vending machines. As social distancing remains of significance to curb the spread of the virus, the IGA Hygiene Team will constantly monitor the terminal area. You’ll also find informative visuals and stickers for it.
How Can I Safely Board and Deboard?
If possible, do try to travel light. Do not try to carry too much luggage on your hands as it’ll slow you down, and things can get fussy. You may be travelling by bus to and from the terminal area and the aircraft. On the bus floor, you find tape markings so that you’re standing on the “safe-spot.”
Also, all buses undergo disinfection after every use.
The past few months have been hard for almost everyone. Various mental stressors have plagued us. The thought of things never getting back to normal can be scary. Thankfully, this does not seem to be the case anymore. Our hopes and dreams don’t have to come to a standstill. We are all going to be more socially responsible from now onwards, though, for almost everything.
Therefore, you should feel comfortable about your medical travel during COVID-19. With a few precautionary measures, everything can go smoothly and safely. Moreover, without any quarantine requirements between the UK and Turkey, you don’t have to worry about delays. Testing in both countries is also free.
You don’t have to feel unhappy or hopeless anymore as all the Longevita surgeons are waiting to welcome you for new procedures from July onwards. Before you do anything else, we require you to book a Travel Advice call with us. From surgery dates to COVID-19 related measures, we’ll discuss all you need to know before flight bookings.
So, get packing for your patient journey to Turkey!