Turkey and Maldives added to UK travel red list over rising coronavirus cases

More holiday destinations have been added to England's travel red list just weeks before return of foreign trips.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed on Friday that anyone returning from Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal after next Wednesday will have to fork out £1,750 for a quarantine hotel in the UK.

Turkey's addition, in particular, will come as bad news for any Manchester City and Chelsea fans hoping to watch their sides face off in the Istanbul Champions League final on May 29.

The decision to add Turkey to the red list comes after its 27,040 new daily infections has forced the country into a national lockdown, it was explained in a Downing Street press conference.

Istanbul-based Andiamo Tour's Cem Polatoglu told local media: "The lockdown decision will probably not be able to save the season."

According to The Sun, tourism accounts for around 12% of Turkey's economy but Covid-19 caused a drop off by 71% of visits last year compared to 2019.

Turkish Hoteliers Federation Chairman Sururi Corabatir told Reuters: "We had hopes for 2021. But unfortunately, the case numbers have not been at the desired levels."

Anyone planning a luxury holiday to the Maldives this summer or even a trip to Mount Everest in Nepal will also be affected.

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Increased travel restrictions will apply from 4am on Wednesday 12 May, impacting those who have headed abroad for legally permitted reasons, the Mirror reports.

The good news Mr Shapps delivered however was that as planned in Boris Johnson's road map out of lockdown, non-essential foreign travel will be permitted from May 17.

This will include a traffic light system with countries placed on green, amber, and red lists which determine quarantine requirements.

The most appealing will be the green list, as this doesn't require you to self-isolate when you're back from a destination although you'll still need to take a pre-departure test, and PCR test on day two of your return.

12 countries made the initial cut including the likes of Portugal and Iceland, although not all 12 of them are open to Brits.

Some continue to close their borders to tourists, while others are open but you'll need to quarantine on arrival.

Grant Shapps said: "Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year.”

"This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer – with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk."

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