Turkey says it won’t require UK visitors to have a Covid vaccine - as cases in the country rise

By Iain Leggat
Monday, 15th March 2021, 4:18 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 4:20 pm
Turkey says it won’t require UK visitors to have a Covid vaccine - as cases in the country rise (Photo: Shutterstock)

UK residents wishing to visit Turkey will not be required to have a Covid-19 vaccination this summer, according to officials.

Turkey’s foreign minister said that the country expects to welcome visitors this summer without requiring evidence of vaccination.

Optional insurance package offered to holidaymakers

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ahead of the main summer season, hotel and tourist facility employees in Turkey are to be given priority for Covid-19 vaccination.

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, minister of culture and tourism, said: “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.”

Many hotels in the country are preparing to test tourists returning home if proof of a negative test is still required. Tests will also be available at airports for around £25.

As well as testing, an optional insurance package will be offered by Turkey for arriving tourists, priced at around £12. The insurance will cover Covid-related expenses, including treatment, medication and emergency care.

‘We are looking forward to welcoming British tourists with open arms’

In 2019, more than 2.5 million UK travellers visited Turkey, but the country was removed from the UK ‘travel corridor’ list in October because of concerns about the way the country reports its Covid data.

Mr Ersoy said that international coronavirus case figures are to be reviewed in a month’s time.

“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,” he commented.

“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.

“We are looking forward to welcoming British tourists with open arms, as we did safely last summer.”

Covid infections rising in Turkey

Covid-19 infections are increasing in Turkey, with 14,139 new infections reported on average each day. There have been 118 infections per 100,000 people reported in the last seven days (44 per cent of the peak), with the highest daily average reported on 8 December.

Turkey has administered at least 10,992,095 doses of Covid vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 6.6 per cent of the country’s population.

All non-essential travel from the UK is currently illegal, though the UK Government has said international travel may be allowed once again from 17 May.

That date will differ across the UK’s four nations.