Red list: Turkey set for amber move during next round of Covid travel changes

Turkey could finally lose its red status on the UK Government traffic light list of travel destinations after spending all summer in the category.

The nation was added to the high-risk category in May and has been mainly off-limits to UK travellers since then – destroying the nation’s vibrant tourism industry and holiday plans of millions of potential visitors from Britain.

An average 2.3 million UK tourists a year jetted to its resorts before the pandemic but data shows it should be moved to the amber list.

Paul Charles, founder of the PC Agency travel consultancy, said: “Turkey very much deserves to be on the amber list as it has some of the best Covid safety policies in place, especially in hotels and other tourist areas and has worked hard to reduce its infection rates.”



Aerial view of Bodrum Beach, Turkey.
Aerial view of Bodrum Beach, Turkey.

Travel expert Simon Calder also predicted that Turkey would be elevated to the amber category in the forthcoming review of the system next week. However, it is likely to be too late for many business and operators who rely on revenue from UK tourists in resorts like Bodrum and Antalya.

The Maldives – another red list destination – could also be moved from the high-risk category with infection rates falling and a growing vaccination programme.

Several Caribbean islands could also be shifted from green to amber, including Grenada, Dominica. Montserrat, Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda.

The Portuguese island of Madeira could also go from green to amber. Meanwhile, Poland and Hungary could be given green status because of improving data.

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However, the traffic light system could be abolished under plans being drawn up by ministers to simplify holidays.

Officials have been told to develop a new system based on the vaccination status of travellers rather than the Covid rating of the country they are visiting.

It is likely to mean amber and green will disappear as separate categories, although red will continue with travellers still required to quarantine in hotels on returning from high-risk destinations.

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