Turkey insists it WILL be open to British tourists when government FINALLY publishes ‘delayed’ list of air bridges tomorrow – despite having more coronavirus cases than UK
- Ministers are finally set to release official list of air bridge countries tomorrow
- The EU has revealed 15 countries outside the bloc will be allowed to travel freely
- Claims UK quarantine pointless as the states can just come via ar bridge country
Turkey said today it expects to be included in the UK’s plan for quarantine-free air bridges to kick start holidays – as the release of a list of safe countries was delayed again.
Ministers had been expected to unveil a list of countries that will be approached to form air bridges for quarantine-free travel to and from the UK today.
But the announcement of details of the traffic light system is now expected to be made by ministers tomorrow.
There is speculation it will include 50 countries, including most Western European states and British overseas territories – but with question marks over nations including Portugal.
Turkey’s ambassador to the UK said this morning that his country believes it will be among them – despite the country having higher daily cases of coronavirus than the UK.
It came amid claims loopholes in the air bridge plans could make the UK’s quarantine rules pointless.
Umit Yalcin insisted it is safe to open up travel despite a recent spike in cases after lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of Covid-19 were eased.
‘I’m optimistic because we are expecting to be included in that list because, scientifically, the facts and figures should talk and the numbers related to corona for Turkey is very low,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘All the numbers relatively and comparatively with other countries are very low, especially in touristic areas in the Aegean and Mediterranean coast the numbers are zero.
‘Because of that reason we are expected to be included on that list.’
Sunseekers on the beach in Croatia yesterday – one of the destinations expected to feature on the air bridge list
He took the action despite UK plans to include Greece in a ‘green’ group of countries it was safe for Britons to travel to using quarantine-free air bridges, when an official list is released later this week
Turkey’s ambassador to the UK said this morning that his country believes it will be among them – despite the country having higher daily cases of coronavirus than the UK
Pressed that numbers nationwide in Turkey are high, the ambassador said ‘we are not expecting that second wave’ and argued that cases are centred on cities.
With holiday makers anxiously awaiting the government’s list of exempt destinations there are claims a swathe of other countries will be able to dodge the 14-day restrictions even if they are not included.
The EU yesterday agreed 15 states from outside the bloc – including Algeria, Japan, China, Rwanda, Thailand, Morocco and Tunisia – will be allowed to come and go freely.
However, that raises the prospect they could just take an indirect route to the UK via an air bridge.
Tory MP Henry Smith, chairman of the cross-party Future of Aviation Group, told the Telegraph the whole quarantine idea should be rethought.
‘It starts to beg the question as to whether we should have a broader opening up, rather than bilateral corridors,’ he said.
The government’s list of air bridges had been expected to be released last week, and was then delayed again from the formal quarantine review date on Monday. There were heavy hints it would be published today, but it is now due tomorrow.
However, travel firms have been forced to scrap thousands of flights and holiday packages in Greece after the nation extended its ban on arrivals from the UK.
TUI, Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and British Airways have all axed travel plans for Brits who booked in the hope of a quick getaway in early July.
But the Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has extended a UK flight ban that was due to end today to July 15.
Greece has been relatively lightly affected by coronavirus, but the UK continues to be one of the worst affected countries in Europe.
TUI, Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and British Airways have all axed travel plans to Greece (pictured) for Brits who booked in the hope of a quick getaway in early July
Tui, the UK’s biggest tour operator, was due to serve four Greek islands when it resumed operations on July 11, while EasyJet had announced plans to resume flights from the UK to Greece next week with fares starting at £39.99.
The boss of TUI yesterday demanded clarity over the air bridge scheme, warning that other countries could follow Greece’s example.
Andrew Flintham, managing director of TUI UK & Ireland, said the proposal could only work after ‘two-way conversations’ between Britain and other countries, adding: ‘I think there’s still going to be a few bumps in the road.’
Under the traffic light system, drawn up by the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England and set to be in place by July 6, countries will be rated green, amber or red based on coronavirus infection levels, the reliability of official data and confidence in test and trace systems.
The automatic 14-day quarantine requirement will remain only for ‘red-rated’ countries such as the US and Brazil.
Travel between ‘green’ and ‘amber’ countries will be quarantine-free, but passengers will have to fill in a ‘locator form’ to trace their movements.
Tourists are charged £44 for a KEBAB and can only swim in the sea if they spend up to £65 at some Turkish resorts as they hike their prices to recoup coronavirus losses
A beach bar in Turkey is charging tourists £43 for a doner kebab as the country’s hard-hit tourism sector tries to bounce back after coronavirus.
One shocked customer’s receipt also showed they forked out £7.30 (61.59 lira) for a small coffee and £22 (184.78 lira) for some stuffed pitta bread in tourist hotspot Bodrum.
Meanwhile, Maçakızı Hotel is making visitors pay £65 to swim in the sea, local media reports.
Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras said businesses are struggling to survive after the Covid-19 pandemic and the city – which relies heavily on tourists – is ‘responsible for taking whatever it can from the pockets of tourists to the last penny’.
One shocked customer’s receipt (pictured) also showed they had been charged £7.30 (61.59 lira) for a small coffee and £22 (184.78 lira) for some stuffed pitta bread in a beach bar in tourist hotspot Bodrum
Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras said businesses are struggling to survive after the Covid-19 pandemic and said the city (stock image pictured) – which relies heavily on tourists – is ‘responsible for taking whatever it can from the pockets of tourists to the last penny’
Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras said in a press conference: ‘I don’t care if someone wants to pay a high price for a doner kebab. They can pay TL 100,000 if they want’
He said in a press conference: ‘I don’t care if someone wants to pay a high price for a doner kebab. They can pay TL 100,000 if they want.’
He stressed that there are restaurants in the area that charge significantly less for the same food.
Britain could form an air bridge with Turkey, allowing tourists to travel freely between the two with no mandatory 14-day quarantine.
But plans were thrown off after it was revealed that the number of new coronavirus cases in Turkey has doubled in a month after the country started easing lockdown restrictions in late May.
Professor Guner Sonmez, of Üsküdar university, said he feared the government was losing control.
Turkey has seen 198,613 cases and more than 5,000 deaths due to the killer bug.
This is not the first time visitors have been hit with massive bills from restaurants in popular tourist spots.
Meanwhile, Maçakızı Hotel (pictured) is making visitors pay £65 to swim in the sea, local media reports
The Antico Caffè di Marte (pictured) in Rome came under fire for the expensive prices it charged tourists before threatening to sue complaining customers
Two Japanese tourists were presented with a bill for €429.80 (pictured) at The Antico Caffè di Marte
A restaurant in Rome came under fire for the expensive prices it charged tourists before threatening to sue complaining customers.
In Greece, American soldier Francisco Tajeda and his friends were left aghast after being presented with a staggering $935 check for a modest lunch of calamari, salads and beers
The Antico Caffe di Marte began making headlines after a two Japanese tourists were slapped with a bill for £380 for a fish and spaghetti dish.
A photograph of a receipt posted to travel review website TripAdvisor shows that the meal for two at Antico Caffè di Marte came to a massive €429.80.
The pair had only ordered two plates of fish with spaghetti, alongside glasses of water and were shocked to see part of the bill was an €80 (£70) service charge.
The Japanese travellers’ story quickly echoed across the internet and newspapers as people were left in disbelief at the cost.
But the restaurant is now threatening to sue complaining customers claiming that the story has meant the restaurant now sits empty most days.
Carlo Scorza, a lawyer for the restaurant has refuted the claim that staff members were preying on unsuspecting tourists.
He added that the cost of the dish was due to customers failing to notice that the price of the dish is per 100g of the food provided.
In Greece, an American soldier and his friends were left aghast after being presented with a staggering $935 check for a modest lunch of calamari, salads and beers.
Francisco Tajeda, 38, from Brooklyn, revealed on TripAdvisor how staff at the DK Oyster restaurant in Mykonos refused to give their party a menu or show them prices, before surprising them with the final tab.
Francisco said was appalled when he was handed this check for a modest lunch of calamari and beers at the DK Oyster restaurant in Mykonos
A member of New York’s 69th Infantry Regiment, Francisco said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he realized they’d been charged $661.41 (€591) for six plates of calamari and $167.87 (€150) for six beers – an eye-watering $27.97 per drink.
Francisco and his friends were also charged $66.46 (€59,40) for three Caesar salad appetizers with chicken, $20.14 (€17.80) for two bottles of water and an additional $20.18 (€18) for a single glass of tomato juice.
However, representatives from the beach-side restaurant stood by their prices, insisting ‘if you can’t afford them, to avoid any bitterness,’ opt for something cheaper.
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