Turkey unlikely to be taken off red list any time soon, warns travel expert

TURKEY holidays may not return any time soon with the country likely to remain on the red list for the indefinite future, according to travel experts.

It was hoped that the destination, popular with families booking package deals, would be removed from the list in time for the end of the summer holidays.

However, in a blow to Brits, Turkey remained on the red list following last month's announcement.

And it is feared that it may stay on the next travel update, expected on September 16.

Covid expert Tim White, who analyses the data in each country regarding positive rates and vaccination rates, said Turkey is seeing some of the highest Covid death rates in four months.

He explained on Twitter: "An increase in testing in Turkey today with more than 300,000 Covid19 tests undertaken.

"But that cannot hide the even bigger increase in new cases diagnosed and the positive test rate up to 8 per cent today."

He warned: "23,946 infections and 290 dead, the highest death toll for almost 4 months."

Not all travel experts agree. Data specialist Ben McCluskey said: "There is little justification for Turkey to remain on the red list given there are amber-listed countries with a higher seven-day incidence rate, such as France and Greece.

"Although the country’s place on the red list may have previously been justified, given the questions around credibility of Turkey’s data last summer and lack of genomic sequencing, it is no longer justified."

Last year, the Turkish health minister admitted that it changed the way they reported coronavirus cases per day, changing the words of "today's number of cases" to "todays number of patients".

Health minister Fahrettin Koca said the the word “patients” means those who had tested positive and had symptoms of coronavirus – but those who tested positive and had no symptoms, were not included in the table.

This led to the government enforcing a mandatory quarantine on all arrivals in the UK from Turkey, meaning frantic Brits were forced to rush back.

Prior to the Covid pandemic nearly 2.3million Brits travelled to Turkey for a break.

Currently on the red list, Brit have to pay £2,285 to quarantine for 10 days at a hotel when returning from the country, with travel advised against.

Tour operators such as TUI have been forced to cancel flights and holidays to Turkey in recent weeks.

If you can wait until 2022, there are some very cheap Turkey holiday deals – and we've rounded up the best.

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