British holidaymakers demand Turkey be removed from red travel list
To date, more than 46,000 have signed the petition. At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in the British parliament.
The U.K government said it placed Turkey on the red list on May 12 to help “prevent the importation of variants of concern and to protect the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program at a critical time.”
Last week, London updated its COVID-19 travel lists, adding new destinations to the green and red lists in its traffic light system and decided to keep Turkey on the red list.
“The scientific data on COVID-19 support our expectation that Turkey will be removed from the red list at the upcoming review,” Sky News quoted the Turkish Embassy in London as saying, ahead of the update.
Under the current traffic light travel system, people entering the U.K. from red-listed countries are mandated to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days, whereas those entering from an amber-listed country are to self-isolate at home.
Turkey is a major holiday destination for Britons.
In 2019, nearly 2.6 million U.K. citizens visited Turkey, which accounted for around 5.7 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals in this year.
However, the number of British tourists vacationing in Turkey dropped to 820,000 last year as nations across the world introduced travel restrictions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From January to July in 2021, Turkey welcomed only 85,000 British holidaymakers, down from 204,000 people in the same period of the previous year.