The Turkish government has reopened borders and is gearing up to welcome back tourism. With flights between the UK and Turkey set to resume, authorities in the country have set out new rules and guidelines for visitors which it hopes will ensure safety for all.
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The Safe Tourism Certification programme has been set up by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey ahead of the 2020 summer season resuming following months of stringent lockdown.
It includes new rules such as the mandatory wearing of masks, body temperature testing and certain protocols for “high risk” travellers.
In partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the tourism initiative covers a range of safety measures encompassing transport, accommodation and airports.
The new certification programme is made up of four main pillars, including: ‘Health and Safety of the Passenger’, ‘Health and Safety of the Employee’, ‘Precautions Taken at Facilities’ and ‘Precautions Taken in Transportation’.
Passenger health and safety regulations will see tourists being given face masks when arriving at airports. No one will be allowed to enter airport terminals without an adequate face covering.
Body temperature testing facilities will also be in place at the entrance to airport terminals, and regular disinfection will be in place throughout.
Authorities also suggest that, if required, protocols have been mapped out for those classed as “high risk” travellers.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has not specified what is classified as a “high risk” traveller.
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A new “COVID-free” certification will also be rolled out to all accommodation and food and beverage outlets have implemented and controlled measures, including social distancing, contact and isolation.
Furthermore, staff working in transport will be asked to undertake hygiene and sanitation training and will be issued with immunity certificates ahead of working.
Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, says: “Turkey has been a role model for the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to its well-established health system and treatment methods. The launch of our Safe Tourism Certification programme further demonstrates that Turkey will take a pioneering role in terms of directing the normalisation of tourism.
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“Global quarantine measures have caused unique developments all around the world, however, these measures are getting more flexible and the tourism sector itself plays a vital role in helping return to normal processes.
“In our culture, it is extremely important to care for our guests, meaning that we are dedicated to providing healthy and safe tourism for everyone.
“Our new certification programme ensures that tourists can enjoy holidays in Turkey in a safe and hygienic manner and feel comfortable for the duration of their visit. We have worked to ensure that the programme covers preventive and protective steps for all aspects of the holiday experience.
“In order to obtain the certificate, all transportation and accommodation facilities must take all precautions to provide a healthy holiday to guests.”
In a further push for tourism, Turkey is also set to withdraw the need for UK visitors to have a visa.
Following a change to rules in March, Britons visiting Turkey for leisure will now be able to stay for up to 90 days in a 180-day period visa-free.
Turkey reopened its borders to international visitors on June 12.
In line with this, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has amended its advice for travel to the holiday hotspot.
“From June 12, the Turkish government has begun to reopen its international land, sea and air borders,” explained the FCO.
“Scheduled passenger flights will resume on an individual country basis, subject to coordination with the Ministry of Health.
“Direct, scheduled passenger flights between Turkey and the UK resumed on June 11.
“All passengers, of all nationalities, who meet Turkish immigration rules are permitted entry to Turkey from June 12.”
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