Turkey lifts UK flight ban and confirms travellers can enter without vaccine passport

Helen Coffey
·2-min read
<p>Turkish Airlines</p> (Getty Images)

Turkish Airlines

(Getty Images)

Turkey has lifted its suspension on direct flights from the UK, in a move that brings holidays there a step closer.

The tourism hotspot also announced that travellers will not need to be fully vaccinated in order to enter the country.

Arrivals need not present a so-called “vaccine passport”, but must instead show a negative Covid PCR test result taken within 72 hours of travel.

To further reassure visitors, Turkey has prioritised employees working in the tourism industry, such as hotel staff, to receive the vaccine.

More than 20 million vaccine doses have been given in Turkey as of 22 April 2021.

The country has also launched a “Safe Tourism Certification Program”, mandatory for all tourism accommodation with more than 30 rooms, which has certified 8,000 facilities so far.

The certification ensures tourist accommodation offers guests access to testing if required before they return home to the UK.

PCR tests cost just €30 (£26) and are also available at Turkey’s international airports; by comparison, the average test in the UK costs £120.

The UK government has confirmed that all arrivals will have to produce a negative test result before travelling to the UK (rapid antigen and lateral flow tests are also accepted). International leisure travel is currently set to resume from England on 17 May.

For added peace of mind, tourists can purchase an insurance package from €15 (£12), which covers Covid-19 related expenses such as treatment, medication, and emergency care costs that may be incurred if they are taken to a state-owned or private hospital during their stay in Turkey.

The Covid-19 Accommodation Support Insurance also guarantees to cover any extra accommodation expenses that may be necessary during the trip, for example, if a holidaymaker is required to quarantine at a hotel.

Two and a half million British tourists visited Turkey in 2019 – it’s clear the country is keen to welcome back holidaymakers as soon as possible.

However, there is one more sticking point before holidays become feasible again: at present, Turkey still requires arrivals from the UK to quarantine for at least 10 days - if they receive a negative PCR result on day 10 - rising to 14 days if they don’t submit to a further test.

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