Turkey is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits, with beautiful beaches, warm weather and a range of sights to see. However, holidays have been put on hold this year as the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus.
Many countries are beginning to lift strict lockdown restrictions, and Turkey is starting to ease some measures.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will lift restrictions on intercity travel and allow restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities to reopen from Monday, June 1.
Museums and beaches have opened from June 1, Mr Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.
He said restrictions would remain in place on the movements of those aged over 65 and under 18.
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The virus has killed more than 4,500 people in Turkey, with more than 160,000 infections.
The economy is expected to tip into recession as a result of the containment measures.
Mr Erdogan said in a televised address: “Under the new normal order, let us not neglect masks, distancing and hygiene.”
He said: “We don’t have the slightest doubt that we will make up for all our losses of the last 2-1/2 months in a short period of time.
“Let’s definitely wear masks out, maintain physical distance and pay attention to hygiene. These are three essential things for us.”
In early April, Turkey stopped all travel between 31 cities, including Istanbul, excluding transit passage and essential supplies.
The country then reduced the restrictions to 15 cities but they will end on June 1.
Among other easing measures, Turkey began operating intercity trains on Thursday after a two-month break.
Mosques will also begin allowing mass prayers from today, May 29.
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When can British tourists return to Turkey?
Despite Turkey beginning to reduce lockdown measures across the country, it may be a while yet until Brits can fly to the country.
British tourists are not expected to return until at least autumn, with domestic travellers the priority, according to local media.
This is due to fears of another outbreak, as well as making sure social distancing guidelines are being enforced.
Some restrictions may be in place when British tourists can return, with some holiday resorts across the country potentially requiring guests to prove they don’t have COVID-19 with health certificates.
Now, Turkey has announced all visitors and residents must wear a protective face mask when in public.
The strict rules impact some of Turkey’s most popular holiday resorts, including Bodrum and Marmaris as well as Turkey’s most populated city Istanbul.
The rules state people should wear face masks constantly when out and about, including on beaches, in parks, in restaurants and when shopping at markets.
Breaking the rule for the first time will result in a warning, while a second time means a fine for both tourists and locals.
A fine of up to 900 Turkish lira ( approximately £105) will be issued if anyone is caught for a second time without a mask when in public.
As part of the fight against the deadly virus, hotels, airports and attractions will all be sterilised.
These locations will also be told to allow enough space for social distancing.
Other measures may include temperature checks at hotels and airports.
For anyone wanting to fly, the UK will be enforcing a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering the country, including British nationals, from next month.
On arriving into the UK, travellers will have to fill out a form and give details of any onward journeys and where they will be staying.
The Government may then contact travellers within those 14 days to ensure quarantine rules are being adhered to.
Current Government guidelines on international travel stipulate only essential journeys should take place.
This also applies to anyone looking to holiday in Britain, with the guidance stating: “Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”
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