International tourists will be exempt from lockdown rules in Turkey, the country’s tourism minister said Tuesday.
The country’s partial or full lockdown since the onset of the coronavirus has never applied to tourists, Nuri Ersoy said addressing an event held in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.
“They freely tour with their passports, visit museum and archaeological sites. Being a tourist is advantageous in Turkey,” Ersoy stressed.
Turkey has imposed a full lockdown from April 29 until May 17 to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The new measures will cover the entire holy Muslim month of Ramadan, as well as three days of the Eid festival.
Cafes and restaurants will only offer delivery services, while chain supermarkets will be closed on Sundays.
Touting the country’s Safe Tourism Certification program, Ersoy said the criteria to obtain the certificate have expanded this year.
He recalled that professionals working in the tourism sector, such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and airlines, are being vaccinated.
By the end of May, their vaccination will be completed, he added.
“Turkey’s tourism services will be offered in a more controlled and healthier manner compared to last year,” Ersoy said.
Citing data from the embassies in Turkey, Ersoy said the infection rate among tourists who visited Turkey and returned to their countries is very low.
“This is proof of the reliability of certification and the measures taken,” he noted.