Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the decision to re-enter a three-week lockdown on Monday, with the national curfew extended until May 17. In line with this, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued an updated warning for Britons already in the country or those hoping to travel in the future.
“An extended curfew will begin at 7pm on Thursday April 29 and last until 5am on Monday May 17.”
Turkish residents are being asked to stay at home during this time, with schools closed and restaurants only permitted to offer delivery serviced.
“During this time, other than a few exceptions, intercity travel will not be permitted by private vehicle during curfew hours if you are a Turkish citizen or a resident of Turkey.
“Travel by public transport is only possible with a travel permit, issued in exceptional circumstances including, but not limited to, attending the funeral of a family member, or travelling to the hospital for medical treatment.
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“Turkish citizens and residents can apply for travel permits through e-devlet or by calling ALO 199.
“Public transport will be limited to 50 percent capacity, with no standing passengers allowed.”
However, the FCDO explains “restrictions do not apply to those visiting for tourism.” This could be the case moving forward should Turkey continue to impose rules for citizens in the future.
“[Tourists] can freely tour with their passports, visit museums and archaeological sites. Being a tourist is advantageous in Turkey,” Nuri Ersoy said.
However, the extended lockdown might be concerning for those who had their hopes pinned on Turkey making it onto the “green list”.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) over the last 14 days cumulative Turkey has recorded 781,397 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
By comparison, the UK has recorded 28,432 during the same time.
Whether or not this latest lockdown update will impact Turkey’s chances of being included on the “green” or “amber” lists remains uncertain.
The Department for Transport has said it is “too early to predict which countries will be on which list over the summer”.
Analysis carried out by Robert Boyle, former strategy chief at BA and its owner IAG identified eight nations that could be on the green list based on the UK Government’s four “risk” criteria for travel.
Though the US, Iceland and Malta were included, Turkey did not make it onto his predicted list.
While Britons are currently not permitted to travel to Turkey for leisure purposes, those travelling for “essential” reasons can fly directly to the country.
Passengers must follow coronavirus regulations in place.
“Direct flights between UK and Turkey are currently operating,” explains the FCDO.
“Before boarding, all passengers aged six years and above will be required to show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure.
“There is currently no requirement to self-isolate once in Turkey.”