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Turkey expects to welcome visitors this summer without requiring evidence of vaccination, Turkey’s tourism minister has said. In addition, British travellers are unlikely to need to take PCR tests before arrival due to the success of the UK’s vaccine programme.
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, minister of culture and tourism, said: “We will not require vaccination passports from international travellers when entering the country. We have world-class border processes in place for ensuring travel will be low-risk throughout Turkey.”
Employees in hotels and other tourist facilities are to be given priority for vaccination ahead of the main summer season. Many hotels are being prepared for testing homebound tourists if proof of a negative test is still required. They can also be carried out at airports.
The minister said that international coronavirus case figures will be reviewed in a month’s time. “We will re-evaluate the situation and then decide if we will continue to require negative PCR test results from British citizens entering the country. I expect there will be no such requirement from British visitors as the UK government is rapidly, and impressively, rolling out the vaccination programme for the whole nation and a significant portion of the population will be vaccinated by early summer. We are looking forward to welcoming British tourists with open arms, as we did safely last summer,” Ersoy said.
Turkey was removed from the UK’s ‘travel corridor’ list last October because of concerns about the way the country reports its data. In 2019, more than 2.5 million British holidaymakers went to Turkey.
According to the latest figures, in January Turkey’s airports handled 5.2 million people – exactly four times the number using UK airports.
All holidays from the UK are currently illegal, though the government says international travel may be allowed once again from 17 May.
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