UK recognizes vaccines administered in Turkey
Fully vaccinated travelers from dozens of more countries, including Turkey, will not be required to self-isolate in the U.K. starting next week, the British government has announced.
The new rules, which will come into effect on Oct. 11, mean fully vaccinated individuals entering England from the 37 locations will be exempt from quarantine, a pre-departure test and a eight-day post-arrival test.
The U.K. recognizes the vaccines of AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, as well as their formulations such as AstraZeneca Covishield.
It will take off 47 more countries from the list from Oct. 11, leaving just seven countries with a complete travel ban.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the move was possible because of “the increased vaccination efforts around the globe”.
The U.K removed Turkey from its red COVID-19 travel list in September. Turkey has been on the red list since May.
Turkey, which started its inoculation program in mid-January, has administered nearly 112 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The country is using both the Pfizer/BioNTech and the jab developed by the Chinese firm Sinovac in its vaccination drive.
Nearly 46 million people, or close to 74 percent of the population, aged 18 and above have been fully vaccinated in the country, while over 54 million people have, which correspond to around 84 percent of the adult population, received at least one dose of the coronavirus shot.
Additionally, some 11 million have been given the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Turkey ranked seventh in the world in terms of the number of the coronavirus vaccine doses administered,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Oct. 8, praising efforts by healthcare workers and the country’s inoculation program.
However, Koca repeated his call for the public to get vaccinated and stick to the anti-virus rules, citing his ministry’s data showing that another 217 people died from COVID-19.
Earlier this week, the minister warned that the current level of the numbers of infected people are too high.
He noted that more than half of the active COVID-19 cases in the country are people under the age of 30.
“Even though the current active cases do not pressure the health system because they are young, it is not acceptable to still have a high number of infected people,” Koca said.