Turkey is now among the countries whose coronavirus vaccination programme are recognised by the United Kingdom. The expanded list, which includes 37 new countries and territories including Turkey, came into force on Monday 11 October.
People fully vaccinated in Turkey with a UK-approved vaccine will no longer have to quarantine when they arrive in Britain. They are also exempt from pre-departure and post-arrival Day 8 Covid-19 tests.
Some Covid-19 vaccines, such as Sinovac and Sputnik, are currently not approved by the UK health authorities, and those who have only received these vaccines, even if administered in Turkey, would not be able to benefit from the rule changes.
The vaccines that the UK does recognise are: AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
As the UK does not recognise the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), its Covid-19 vaccination certificates are not accepted even if the vaccines administered are approved ones.
A Turkish Cypriot government source told T-VINE that efforts are underway to integrate the TRNC vaccination programme with Turkey’s programme. Once that has been achieved, data sent from the TRNC Health Ministry will mean anyone vaccinated in North Cyprus can generate a certificate from Turkey.
Alternatively, Turkish Cypriots vaccinated in the TRNC and who are Republic of Cyprus (RoC) passport holders can apply for a European Union vaccination certificate via the South’s online portal.
The system was initially created to ensure vaccinated Turkish Cypriot higher education students who needed to travel abroad for their studies could do so using the widely recognised EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate. The scheme was subsequently expanded by the Greek Cypriot Health Ministry to include all Turkish Cypriots with RoC citizenship.
When T-VINE enquired last month about whether EU citizens who have been vaccinated in North Cyprus can also benefit from this online registration, Pantelis Pantelides from the Greek Cypriot Presidential Palace said the “system is not currently available to EU citizens in the north [of Cyprus]”.
Main image, top, © Fritz Jorgensen / iStock