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Turkey has announced it intends to welcome UK travellers this summer as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic permits international travel from the UK.

Officials in the country said they were taking all steps necessary to ensure travel continues to be safe.

Turkey has just announced a priority vaccination program for employees at hotels and other tourist facilities for the upcoming tourism season.

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, minister of culture and tourism of Turkey, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming British tourists with open arms, as we did safely last summer.

“We have world-class border processes in place for ensuring travel will be low-risk throughout Turkey.

“We are working with the British authorities to ensure these necessary processes are world-class and as up-to-date as possible.

“We will not require vaccination passports from international travellers when entering the country.”

Ersoy added: “After April 15th, we will look at the number of cases again, 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.

“I expect there will be no such requirement from British visitors as the UK government is rapidly, and impressively, rolling out the vaccination program for the whole nation and a significant portion of the population will be vaccinated by early summer.”

All hotels certified under the Safe Tourism tourism programme provide testing facilities for tourists so they can obtain test results, if needed, before departing Turkey for the UK or elsewhere.

Tests cost approximately €30 (approximately £25) and are also available to be carried out at international airports in Turkey.

In addition, tourists visiting Turkey are offered a special insurance package, from just €15 (£12), which covers Covid-19 related expenses such as treatment, medication and emergency care costs that may be incurred if visitors are taken to a state-owned or private pandemic hospital during their stay in Turkey.

Ersoy continued: “To ensure our visitors can enjoy a safe and healthy holiday at all stages of their trip, we will continue to invest in the Safe Tourism programme which we launched in 2020.

“We have expanded the scope this year and made it compulsory for hotels and other accommodation facilities with 30 rooms or more.

“More than 8,000 facilities have been certified so far.”

Some 2.5 million British tourists visited Turkey in 2019, with visitors staying in popular areas including Istanbul, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir.

Airlines flying from the UK include Turkish Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Tui, Sun Express and Ryanair.