Turkey lifts ban on direct flights from UK in boost to holiday hopes

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·1-min read

Turkey has boosted the prospect of UK holidaymakers being able to visit this summer by lifting flight restrictions.

The popular tourist destination announced it has ended its ban on direct flights from the UK.

Authorities also confirmed they will not require international tourists to have received a coronavirus vaccine but they will need to show evidence of a recent negative PCR test.

British nationals made more than 2.5 million visits to Turkey in 2019, according to Government figures.

Popular areas include Istanbul, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir.

Turkey is offering an insurance package costing from 15 euros (£12) to international visitors this summer, covering coronavirus-related expenses such as treatment, medication and emergency care costs if they are taken to hospital during their stay.

It also covers additional accommodation costs if someone is told to quarantine in their hotel.

The ending of the flight ban comes a day after Spain’s tourism minister said the country is “desperate to welcome” UK visitors this summer.

Fernando Valdes told Sky News that Spain is “pushing hard” to persuade the European Commission to reach agreements to reopen travel between “third parties such as the UK” as well as EU member states.

“If we reach these kind of agreements from the month of June, we will be able to have a summer,” he said.

The testing and quarantine requirements which UK tourists will face when they return from foreign trips this summer will only be known when the Government announces which countries are on its “green”, “amber” and “red” lists.

It has committed to doing this in early May.

International leisure travel could be permitted for people in England from May 17 under Boris Johnson’s plan for easing lockdown restrictions.