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Turkey saw 2.5 million Britons visit in 2019 and over the years has grown to become one of the most popular tourist destinations. With the pandemic preventing travel, many are eager to go abroad and soak up the sun – but how likely are the British to visit Turkey this year?
International travel has been under intense restrictions since the coronavirus outbreak more than a year ago, with Britons forgoing summer holidays.
With the easing of restrictions as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap, many may be wondering when they will be able to book this long-awaited trip abroad.
The government’s Global Travel Working Group reviews countries and places them in a traffic light system based on a series of criteria.
Green List countries will be free to visit, however, Covid testing may need to be done before and after your trip, anyone visiting Orange countries will need to self-isolate for 10 days upon returning to the UK, and red countries will be subject to strict restrictions on travel.
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Holidays in Turkey: Does TUI accept reservations? Is Turkey on the Red List?
The criteria that the government examines to determine which countries fall into which category are:
- Vaccination rate
- Prevalence of COVID-19
- Scope of variants
- Virus genome sequencing capability
However, economic and political factors are also likely to be at play when the government categorizes countries.
So what does this mean for those who wish to visit Turkey?
Holidays in Turkey: Government’s Global Travel Task Force examines countries and places them in traffic light system
Is Turkey on the Red List?
At the time of writing, only a few high-risk countries have been classified under the government’s new travel program.
One of them is India, which has seen an increase in the number of cases in recent weeks – which has led Mr Johnson to cancel a trip to the country.
Turkey is not on the red list, however, the British will learn more in early May.
Aviation Minister Robert Courts told the Commons Transportation Selection Committee that countries would be ranked in “the first part of May,” he added, “it wouldn’t be fair for me to speculate “on the lists.
The earliest date on which vacation abroad could be permitted for people in England is May 17.
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Does TUI accept reservations?
TUI is one of the UK’s largest travel agencies and currently allows customers to book vacations to Turkey from May 17th.
You can book for destinations like Turkey, Greece, Spain, Italy, Maldives and Portugal, among others.
Currently, on the TUI website, you cannot book to travel to Albania, China, Czech Republic, Israel, Japan, Oman, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago or Uzbekistan.
However, for those who wish to take a trip to Turkey, restrictions are in place throughout the country.
Holidays in Turkey: Turkey is a popular summer vacation destination for millions of Britons
Turkey is subject to a system of Covid risk “levels”, with four risk-based levels.
FCDO explains: “The provinces of Turkey are divided into four levels by risk of COVID-19: low, medium, high and very high.
“A map of Turkey illustrating these levels is available from the Ministry of Health.”
Currently throughout Turkey, face masks are mandatory “at all times” when “outside the home”.
If you book a trip to Turkey and can’t make it due to Covid restrictions, most travel agents offer free rescheduling.
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If Turkey is placed in the green category, holidaymakers will need to take Covid tests before and after travel – however, they will not need to self-isolate on return.
A new study has shown that 61% of Britons believe under the traffic light system green level should mean unrestricted travel this summer.
Currently, countries on the green list will require Britons to take a Covid PCR test before traveling there, for an additional fee.
A total of 55% of Britons say they will not be able to go on holiday this summer if expensive Covid PCR tests, which currently cost up to £ 150, are imposed on passengers from low-risk ‘green’ countries ‘.
easyJet surveyed 2,000 UK holidaymakers and found that almost three-quarters (74%) of Britons believe that while the tests remain a requirement for traveling to low-risk green-level countries, they should comply with the lateral flow tests used for reopening the rest of the UK economy rather than the more complex and expensive PCR testing.
Holidays in Turkey: Coronavirus restrictions will likely remain in place across Turkey for the foreseeable future
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: “The UK government must release the final details of the testing regime as soon as possible and inform the public of the third parties into which the countries will be integrated and the criteria it will use to decide on. these levels.
“We believe most European countries should be in the green box based on the protection the NHS has provided to the British through our rollout of vaccination and the low presence of worrisome variants in most European countries” easyJet was founded to make travel affordable for everyone. Before the pandemic, we were carrying around 100 million customers paying an average of £ 50 per flight.
“At the current price, even low-risk green destinations seem likely to make travel for a well-deserved vacation or the chance to see family out of reach for many – and the preserve of the wealthy – it’s unfair.
“We are not pushing to reopen travel at all costs – we need to protect the NHS and the vaccination program, but we have worked with expert scientists to understand what would be needed to resume travel safely.
“The health and safety of passengers remains our top priority and we firmly believe that with vaccination, travel to a low-risk, government-approved destination should not be prohibitively sidelined by unnecessary PCR testing. and expensive.
“The public recognizes that green level travel should mean safe travel without exorbitant costs.
“We urge the government to keep its promise to lower the cost of testing and make travel to safe green-light destinations affordable and possible for all.”