HOLIDAYMAKERS could be returning to Turkey as early as June, according to the country's culture and tourism minister, although Brits won't be first in line.
The country has banned flights from Britain since mid-March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to the country.
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Turkey has now had 65,111 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,403 deaths.
Until recently, the country had adopted a more relaxed approach to fighting the virus than its neighbors in Europe and the Middle East.
But this weekend, they introduced a new lockdown lasting 48 hours across 31 cities that took many by surprise.
Despite this, their government is still optimistic that they could be open for business by the end of next month.
The country's culture and tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: "Hopefully, we will see that tourism activities will start again during the Ramadan Feast."
The Ramadan Feast, also known as Eid ul-Fitr, will be celebrated at the end of May.
Ersoy revealed that they were aiming to allow domestic tourism first, before gradually opening up to the rest of the world.
He added that he expected flight schedules to return to normal by the end of June, with air travel likely to start with Asia, followed by Russia, the Balkans and then
Professor İlhami Çelik from the Turkish Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Board echoed the view that life would hopefully go back to normal for citizens next month.
Speaking to the Turkish language daily newspaper, Sabah, he said that people needed to comply with government guidelines: “If we do this and if temperatures rise, I believe life will return to normal in time for Ramadan Bayram. I am hopeful."
The UK government has currently advised against all non-essential travel indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts are conflicted as to when holidays are likely to resume for Brits this year, but for those who want to book their next trip with confidence – tour operators are offering trips for 2021.
We've rounded up some of the best seven-night deals, including hotels and flights, you can book for next year.
- Seven nights on the Aegean Coast with Love Holidays, departing from London Stansted on June 16 – £268pp
- Seven nights in Antalya with easyJet Holidays, departing from London Gatwick on June 1 – £251pp
- Seven nights in Dalaman with On The Beach, departing from London Stansted on June 3 – £320pp
- Seven nights in Dalaman with TUI, departing from London Stansted on September 1 – £374pp
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Meanwhile in Spain, tourism leaders are pleading with the government to start urgent special measures now – as holiday hotspots warn they won't recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis until at least 2021, or ever in many cases.
There is huge concern in both the Canary Islands and the Balearics, which include Ibiza and Mallorca, that this year will be wiped out completely.
In Benidorm, the president of the British Business Owners Association has warned Brits that they could be waiting for their holidays until September at the earliest.
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