Trouble for Turkish tourism

TURKEY holidays are soaring in popularity for the summer as Brits hope to return to the hot destination.

However, one expert has warned that it may not be able to welcome tourists before the end of the year due to the Covid situation.

Last year, the country was placed onto the UK’s quarantine list over concerns that they were not fully reporting all cases in the correct way.

At the time, according to the Financial Times, the Turkish health minister admitted it changed the way they reported coronavirus cases per day, changing the words of “today’s number of cases” to “todays number of patients”.

Health minister Fahrettin Koca said the word “patients” means those who had tested positive and had symptoms of coronavirus – but those who tested positive and had no symptoms, were not included in the table.

This led to the country being removed from the UK air bridge list in October 2020.

PC Agency’s Paul Charles said that while short-haul holidays are likely to return in time for the summer, Turkey needs to prove that their coronavirus cases are accurate for holidays to return.

Mr Charles told Sun Online Travel: “Greece will do well this summer, along with Portugal, Spain, Italy and France should do well.

“Turkey needs to prove its numbers are accurate, clearly they under-reported their numbers last year.

“It remains to be seen what happens.”

The Turkish tourist board said that they provide “all new cases and patients” daily via their coronavirus website, which had 8,962 new cases yesterday, taking their total to 2.3m.

The UK lockdown has banned all non-essential travel including holidays abroad.

According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, direct flights have been temporarily suspended from the UK to Turkey, although limited flights from Turkey to the UK are running.

Other travel restrictions include a mandatory quarantine on arrival to Turkey and a negative coronavirus test – the same for anyone returning to the UK.