Greece and Turkey holidays could restart before Spain by June as destinations have ‘better Covid vaccination plans’


HOLIDAYS to Greece and Turkey are likely to start before Spain, according to tour operators, as they have better coronavirus vaccination plans.

Both countries hope to establish safe travel corridors with the UK again by June by vaccination a high percentage of the population by then.

Spain is likely to lag behind Greece and Turkey in welcoming tourists again

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Spain is likely to lag behind Greece and Turkey in welcoming tourists againCredit: EPA

According to Majorca Daily Bulletin, this means that the Balearic Islands in Spain will lag behind in welcoming holidaymakers back, as the vaccination programme needs to be “urgently sped up”.

TUI, easyJet and Jet2 have all cancelled holidays until at least next month due to the current coronavirus situation in the UK, but hope to resume by March.

Athens plans to have 70 per cent of the population vaccinated by the summer while Turkey has vaccinated 700,000 people in four days with the Sinovac vaccine – similar levels to France and Spain who have been rolling it out for weeks.

Balearic Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela said that they were competing with other popular holiday destinations to be able to welcome tourists back as quickly and safely as possible.

He recently said: “We demand that the Spanish government complies with the vaccine supply plan and guarantees deadlines in order to reduce the epidemiological rate in the Balearic Islands and recover economic activity as soon as possible.”

Turkey has vaccinated more than 700,000 people

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Turkey has vaccinated more than 700,000 peopleCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Holidays abroad are currently off the cards but hope to resume by the summer

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Holidays abroad are currently off the cards but hope to resume by the summerCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Other countries are looking at ways to restart the tourism industry.

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Thailand offers luxury hotel quarantine facilities to encourage holidaymakers to return, while Egypt is reducing aviation fuel prices to support the tourism industry.

A boom in holiday bookings has come from older travellers as over-50s have “vaccine optimism” due to the UK rollout.

However, the government has warned that booking a summer holiday isn’t advised just yet due to the UK’s high cases still.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned people not to book their sunshine breaks just yet.

He told LBC radio: “I think at the moment it’s too early, I think you have to follow the guidance that we’re putting out.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps echoed his sentiments, advising caution.

The UK recently suspended the travel corridors which allowed Brits return to the country without needing to quarantine, as well as enforced negative Covid tests on arrival from today.

The travel corridor suspension will be re-evaluated in four weeks but is likely to remain in place until coronavirus cases continue to fall.

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Destinations which were on the travel corridor list include the Maldives, Barbados and a number of Greek islands.

Dubai was removed from it after a surge in cases in the UAE, while France, Spain and Italy were all removed last year.





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