Britain to allow travel to and from Turkey in boost to tourism industry

Britain will allow travel to and from Turkey without the need to quarantine, giving a boost to Turkish efforts to kickstart its tourism season.

Turkey is among as many as 75 countries on Britain’s first quarantine exemption list, the Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday. The list will be published today or on Friday, the newspaper said.

The Turkish government is calling on countries to lift warnings on travel as it seeks to revive its tourism industry, which earned a record $34.5 billion last year. Visitors have tumbled by 99 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, restricted largely to lorry drivers and tradesmen traveling across land borders. Germany is among major European Union countries that are keeping the warnings in place.

All 75 countries, which also include nearly every EU destination, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia, are now sufficiently low risk for holidaymakers based on COVID-19 infection rates and because their data on the state of the disease can be trusted, the Daily Telegraph said, citing the British decision.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu was embarking on a visit to Berlin to meet with his German counterpart Heiko Maas on Thursday, with Germany’s travel warning high on the agenda. Turkey says Germany, which provided the second-most visitors to Turkey last year, is not justified in keeping the curbs in place, pointing to anti-virus measures and steps on safety taken by its hotels and tourism companies.