Turkey reaches agreement with Hungary, Serbia to lift travel restrictions

Turkey has reached an agreement with Hungary and Serbia to make joint arrangements for the recognition of vaccination certificates in a bid to lift mutual travel restrictions, Diken news website reported on Sunday.

The decision was reached during separate phone calls between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu with his Hungarian and Serbian counterparts on Saturday, it said.

The vaccination certificate agreement will be overseen by the respective health ministries of the countries, according to Diken.

Turkey is reliant on SinoVac and BioNTech vaccines, and is set to receive the Russian Sputnik V vaccine later his month.

Some 10.3 million people have received both of the two required doses of vaccines in the country, while another 4.3 million have started the immunisation process by getting their first jabs, according to Health Ministry figures.

Turkey in recent weeks has ranked fourth globally in terms of COVID-19 cases, with daily infections over 60,000, sparking fear over the future of its vital tourism industry ahead of the summer.

Daily cases in the country have dropped considerably, to the 20,000s daily, following a nationwide lockdown that began last week. However, official figures show that the death count is slower to catch up, going as low as 278 people on May 7, from 394 on April 30, the first day of lockdown.