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Turkey: British holidaymakers are welcome without vaccinations

by Sharron Livingston
Istanbul Cathedral, Turkey

Turkey is so impressed with the UK’s efficient vaccination rollout that the tourism minister has expressed enthusiasm about welcoming Britons this summer without requiring evidence of having had the jab.

As soon as the UK travel ban is lifted, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the country can accept Britons as Turkey will have all the necessary protocols in place to keep everyone safe.

Ersoy said Turkey will undergo a vaccination drive before the summer season which prioritises workers at hotels and other tourism operators. Hotels and other accommodation providers in Turkey are required to meet compulsory Covid-safe standards.

He said:

“We are working with the British authorities to ensure these necessary processes are world-class and as up-to-date as possible.

“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.”

On the need for PCR tests Ersoy indicated this requirement is likely to be scrapped:

“After 15 April, we will look at the number of cases again, 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.” 

In a bid to add another layer of assurance and protection, Turkey will offer an optional insurance package for arriving holidaymakers, priced at around £12. It covers Covid-related expenses such as treatment, medication and emergency care.

There were more than 2.5 million visits by British nationals to Turkey in 2019.

Greece and Cyprus have already said that they will allow vaccinated British holidaymakers without formality this summer.

Overseas leisure travel is currently banned until May 17.


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