Grant Shapps discusses changes to ‘green list’
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Turkey is a holiday hotspot for Britons seeking sun, sea and all-inclusive resorts. However, the nation has been on the UK’s “red list” for travel since May, amid concerns over COVID-19 variants.
While holidaymakers may have been hopeful the nation would make it onto the amber list at the last traffic light review thanks to its seemingly low Covid rates, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps made no mention of the holiday favourite.
Instead, attention was turned to the Balearic Islands, which plummeted from the green list to the amber list amid growing rates of infection in the country.
However, one expert has drawn a major comparison between the figures coming out of Turkey and those coming out of the Balearics.
Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, pointed out that Turkey’s Covid rates are “strikingly” lower than the Spanish archipelago’s.
As a result, the travel expert has slammed the Government’s traffic light system as “inconsistent”.
Posting on Twitter, he said: “Latest Balearics data shows positive case rates strikingly above several existing red-list countries.
“Balearics now at 519/100,000 over 14 days, compared with Turkey at 81; Maldives 322; and Sri Lanka 98.
“Highlights inconsistency of traffic light decision-making.”
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However, the reason Turkey remains on the red list may have less to do with its actual COVID-19 rates and more to do with the fact it is an international flight hub.
In 2020, Istanbul airport became the busiest airport in Europe.
Turkish Airlines, meanwhile, is one of the most connected airlines in the world.
Robert Boyle, British Airways’ former strategy chief believes he understands the data being used to make traffic light decisions.
“Infection rates in Turkey have been falling rapidly in recent weeks and the reported rate is now no worse than Spain,” he wrote in a blog post for GridPoint Consulting prior to the latest update.
He correctly predicted that Turkey would remain on the red list, despite the fact its figures suggest it does not “belong there”.
The former BA strategy chief believes the Government will use the same causes as it does to classify the UAE and Qatar and will take a “cautious approach” to reopening.
Despite this, he said travellers hoping to visit Turkey could have some luck at “the next review”.
Furious holidaymakers have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
“So why did Turkey not move to Amber? These statistics make no sense,” commented a Twitter user.
“The Government decide on what countries move not statistics.”
A second wrote: “Why are only people in the UK having to deal with this traffic light system if the cases are high?
“[For] people in the EU it doesn’t make any difference if they have been vaccinated it’s becoming so political now. You do not want people in the UK travelling, end of.”
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