British tourists have begun to enjoy summer holidays on Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts after the resumption of flights between the two countries, saying top-notch measures taken against the coronavirus outbreak are making them feel safe.
Anna Hutchinson, a British national vacationing in Didim, a popular resort town in the western province of Aydın, said Tuesday her family traveled to Turkey shortly after the restrictions on touristic travel were lifted.
Didim is known locally as "Little England" as many Brits buy houses and stay in the town permanently. Some half a million people visit Didim every summer, including on one-day trips.
“We already knew this place would have had great standards for a holiday and that safety measures have been taken,” Hutchinson said, recommending all international tourists choose the country to spend their vacation.
Simon Hutchinson also said safety and hygiene measures are implemented very well in the country, giving them a feeling of reassurance.
“All dishes are cooked separately. All tables, chairs, doors are cleaned regularly. There are disinfectants everywhere. All officers wear masks all the time. We are very impressed with facilities and safety measures here,” Hutchinson said.
Hundreds of British tourists began to arrive in Turkey’s touristic hotspots after the U.K. earlier this month included Turkey on its list of nearly 60 countries and said it would ditch a 14-day quarantine period for people arriving from these countries, which it deems to be a lower risk for COVID-19.
Arriving British holidaymakers praise the measures taken by Turkey to ensure a safe and healthy stay of tourists in the facilities and beaches.
Another British tourist, Kelly Briggs, said she chose Turkey as it was one of the few destinations that were safe for travel during the pandemic.
“All measures have been taken and their implementation continues. People in our country should not worry about traveling here because all preparations have been completed,” Briggs said.
Tourism facilities and beaches in Turkey started welcoming guests following necessary preparations in line with the Safe Tourism Certification program, jointly launched by the Foreign Ministry, Culture and Tourism Ministry and Transportation Ministry.
The program sets out a series of measures for various sectors, including accommodation, transportation, the health status of travelers and employee facilities for those looking to spend their vacation in Turkey.
Pamela Silver, another holidaymaker from the U.K., noted that touristic facilities have been very strict to follow all the hygiene measures.
“We are vacationing safely. Health standards are certainly much higher in Turkey compared to other countries," she said.
Vacations in Spain come with unpleasant surprise for Britons
However, not all British tourists traveling overseas were able to enjoy their vacations in July. On Sunday, hundreds of British tourists flying home after a holiday in Spain were faced with an abrupt decision by their government to make everyone arriving from the Mediterranean country spend 14 days in quarantine.
The British foreign ministry also advised against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, a move likely to prompt tour operators to cancel package holidays and trigger claims against insurers.
Luke Dawe, a British tourist speaking from a beach in Barcelona, said, "I don't see the point, really, because there's more measures here than in the U.K. at the moment anyway, so at the moment I think it doesn't really make sense.”
John Snelling, 50, from Stratford-upon-Avon, on holiday in Menorca, said, "This is ridiculous. There are almost no cases here and there's a far higher chance of contracting it when I get back to Britain."