The U.K. government on Friday unveiled a list of "travel corridor" quarantine exemption countries deemed ''low risk," including Turkey.
Britain announced that it would scrap a requirement for people arriving from dozens of countries to spend 14 days in isolation. Starting July 10, quarantine requirements will be lifted for arrivals from about 60 countries deemed "lower risk” for the coronavirus, including Turkey, France, Spain, Germany and Italy – but not the United States, the country worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The implemented "travel corridor" or "air bridges" policy will also allow people to travel to low-risk countries without having to quarantine at either end.
"Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation. Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses," British Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said in a statement.
"The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watchword and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.”
The quarantine policy for travelers from other countries was introduced in the U.K. in June in order to protect public health against imported coronavirus cases.
Currently, passengers arriving in the U.K. by train, ferry or train are supposed to provide an address where they will self-isolate for two weeks. Fines of 100 euro are presented to those who fail to fill in a form with such details while fines of 1000 euros may be presented to those who break the measures.
Turkey has recorded 203,456 coronavirus cases so far, with 178,278 recoveries, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry Thursday disclosed nation-wide demographic data on the outbreak for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the ministry's data, half of all cases in the country have struck in Istanbul, which has seen close to 110,000 cases.
Released in both Turkish and English, the report describes the ongoing situation that has developed in Turkey since the onset of the pandemic in March to June 28.
The report states that there are about 200,000 coronavirus patients in Turkey, more than 105,000 of whom have been hospitalized. It is also detailed that 21% of hospitalizations took place between the dates of June 1 and June 28, adding that 93.4% of hospitalized patients had been discharged from hospital.