Turkey plans to welcome unvaccinated British holidaymakers

15 March 2021, 10:29 | Updated: 15 March 2021, 11:50

Tourists on Patara beach in Turkey's Antalya district on the Mediterranean Sea last summer
Tourists on Patara beach in Turkey's Antalya district on the Mediterranean Sea last summer. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Turkey is planning to welcome British holidaymakers this summer without the need for proof of coronavirus vaccination or a negative test result.

Tourism minister Mehmet Ersoy said the country is "looking forward to welcoming British tourists with open arms".

He said: "We have world-class border processes in place for ensuring travel will be low-risk throughout Turkey.

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"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."

After April 15, Turkey will also re-evaluate whether visitors must continue to produce evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure.

"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," Mr Ersoy said.

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British nationals made more than 2.5 million visits to Turkey in 2019, according to Government figures.

Mr Ersory said employees at hotels and other tourist facilities in Turkey will be prioritised for Covid-19 jabs before the summer season.

Turkey's plan not to require proof of a vaccine or test is in contrast to other hotspots popular with UK holidaymakers.

Greece will require international tourists to have been vaccinated, had a recent negative Covid-19 test or have coronavirus antibodies.

Visitors to Cyprus must have had both doses of a vaccine.

Leisure travel is currently banned for people living in the UK, but the rule could be relaxed for those in England from May 17.

The Government's Global Travel Taskforce will provide a report to the Prime Minister on April 12 setting out recommendations for how and when foreign holidays could resume.