Turkey’s popularity grows as number of quarantine-free destinations for UK travellers drops to 12

Demand for a holiday in Turkey has continued to rise as it becomes one of a dozen holiday destinations Britons can travel to without Covid restrictions in either direction.

Earlier today, the UK government announced that arrivals from Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia and the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao will also be added to the list of countries with compulsory two-week self-isolation.

They join a host of countries and islands, such as Spain, France, Croatia, Malta, and Portugal, that were previously deemed “safe” for British holidaymakers, but which now have quarantine restrictions.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said that the latest measures would be introduced on Saturday, 26 September.

Those who flout the UK’s two-week quarantine rules on their return from their travels face fines of £1,000 or more.

The government’s guide for adding a country to its list of Covid-restricted destinations is whether it has recorded over 20 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

While cases in Turkey have also been rising in recent weeks, official statistics show the number of new cases to be significantly lower than other European countries.

In Spain, coronavirus figures for the period 12-18 September stood at 127 cases per 100,000. In France it was 94 cases, and 42 in Portugal. In contrast, there were just under 14 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Turkey during the same period.

Daily figures reported by Turkish officials for Wednesday, 23 Sept. showed 1,767 new COVID-19 cases and 72 deaths, with a total of 11,751 news cases recorded for the past 7 days.

As a result the travel corridor between the UK and Turkey remains open, despite the UK itself having 35 new cases per 100,000 for the period 12-18 September – a figure which is sure to rise for this week.

Restriction-free travel in Turkey has sparked a significant rise in demand from British tourists after some sun before the end of October. Travelsupermarket, the price comparison website, said last week that Turkey accounted for 30% of all searches for package holidays on its site, with Greece next on 15%.

The two countries are among a dozen ‘Covid-safe’ destinations for British tourists, who also avoid quarantine in either direction if they visit Germany, Italy, South Cyprus, Poland, Sweden, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, San Marino, and the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores.


Top image of Butterfly Valley beach near Ölüdeniz in Turkey. Photo © evp82 / iStock