Tourism

Turkey lifts travel bans on Britons and vaccination won’t be required for holidays

Turkey has announced plans to lift its ban on direct flights from the UK. Though summer holidays to the hotspot are not yet confirmed, there are hopes Britons could return if the country makes it onto the UK “green” list for travel.

According to the nation’s tourism board, it will also be welcoming back travellers even if they have not yet been vaccinated.

Instead, international arrivals will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within a certain amount of time.

Turkey is aiming to provide testing for tourists at hotels and airports before they return to the UK.

This could work in tandem with the UK rule for “green list” countries which requires arrivals to take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test when they have returned home.

According to TUI, flight and holiday interest for the region is already on the rise.

Last year, the nation became a popular destination thanks to its place on the travel corridor list.

It was removed in October after enjoying most of the late summer as a key location for British holidaymakers.

However, given the country’s current coronavirus figures it is unlikely to make the UK’s initial “green” list in May.

Over the last seven days cumulative, the nation recorded 505 cases per 100,000 of the population.

In the UK this figure is just six for the same time period.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Turkey lifting its ban on direct flights from the UK is only half the story for those who want to travel to the country. People shouldn’t book their holiday until they know which colour the UK government will place Turkey in its traffic light system.

“If travellers book now, they have no way of knowing whether they will need to quarantine on their return or how much they may need to pay for tests – which could cost several hundreds of pounds if Turkey is placed on the amber list.”

The UK Government has plans to announce its “green list” ahead of May 17, the predicted date for when travel can resume.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, said he believes the list could be published “on May 7”.

“As global data is updated on a Thursday each week, this enables the Government to take stock of the latest data on May 6 and then publish its thoughts on how countries will be rated,” he said in a blog post on the PC Agency.

“It doesn’t want to reveal the country ratings before then and be held responsible for making the wrong call.”

Already, experts are beginning to predict which nations could make the cut.

Analysis carried out by Robert Boyle, former strategy chief at BA and its owner IAG looked at the Government’s four “risk” criteria for travel.

These include vaccination rates, Covid prevalence, the extent of variant and the capacity for genome sequencing of the virus.

The research concludes the US, Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland, Malta, Australia and New Zealand could be the first eight “green” countries.

However, even if nations are on the list, whether Britons are allowed to go will be determined by each country’s own entry requirements.

For Australia and New Zealand, it is unlikely UK arrivals will be allowed in May.

SOURCE