Turkey holidays: What are the new travel rules after latest change? Can Britons visit now?

Simon Calder talks about new traffic light changes to travel

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Last week, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced an array of changes to the UK’s travel rules. These included a change to Turkey’s current traffic light status, with the popular holiday destination finally being moved to the amber list.

Travel to Turkey has been firmly on hold throughout the summer due to its place on the red list, with those returning from the destination facing hotel quarantine.

However, as of Wednesday, September 22, 2021, these rules will no longer stand.

Instead, fully-vaccinated holidaymakers will be able to enter the UK from Turkey without quarantine.

What are the new rules for returning to the UK from Turkey?

As of Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Turkey will be categorised as amber under the UK’s traffic light system for travel.

This means that Britons who have been fully vaccinated will be able to enter the UK from Turkey without the need for quarantine.

They will, however, be required to take a pre-departure coronavirus test in the 72 hours before travelling to the UK.

They will also need to book and pay for a PCR test to be taken on day two of their return to the UK. This information should be included on each traveller’s passenger locator form.

Those who are not double-jabbed will still face 10 days of quarantine on their arrival in the UK.

Along with a pre-departure and day two PCR test, unvaccinated travellers will also be required to take a day eight PCR test.

The system will later be overhauled from Monday, October 4, 2021, to eliminate the red, amber and green systems.

The Government website explains: “From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.

“The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.”

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What are the current entry rules for Britons hoping to visit Turkey?

Turkey is currently welcoming back UK visitors.

All arrivals into Turkey, with the exceptions of citizens and legal residents, must complete an online form within 72 hours of travel.

They must also present either evidence of two Covid vaccinations, recent recovery from COVID-19 or a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior to arrival.

Passengers from the UK, regardless of vaccine status, will be required to show a negative PCR test taken within the 72 hours prior to arrival.

This must be shown on arrival in Turkey, and may also be asked for at check-in or while boarding.

All travellers will be subject to a screening on arrival for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) warns: “Arrivals may be subject to random PCR testing on arrival.”

Passengers will also be required to provide the residential address of where they will stay during their visit, and give their contact details.

How is the Covid situation in Turkey?

According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, in the 14-day reporting period prior to September 16, 2021, there were 311,370 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Turkey.

Reuters reports Turkey has administered at least 105,110,950 doses of Covid vaccines.

It states: “Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 63 percent of the country’s population.”

A number of restrictions remain in place throughout Turkey.

Provinces in Turkey are split into four tiers by COVID-19 risk: low, medium, high and very high.

The FCDO explains: “The wearing of masks is mandatory at all times outside the home throughout Turkey.

“This includes, but is not limited to, all public places, including streets, side streets, parks, gardens, picnic areas, markets, seaside and public transportation including Metro, buses, taxis and ferries.

“Masks are also mandatory in all shops, restaurants, hairdressers and barbershops.”

Visitors are advised to follow the advice of local authorities when in Turkey.

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