Turkey is at risk of entering the UK's growing list of 14-day quarantine restricted holiday destinations following a massive spike in coronavirus cases.
Authorities in the country have reopened restaurants, cafes, parks and beaches, as well as lifting the ban on inter-city travel, as the country eases lockdown restrictions – but the number of cases is on the rise.
The popular holiday destination's coronavirus count rose on Saturday to its highest daily level since June.
Currently, there is an air bridge arrangement between the UK and Turkey, but this may soon change to reflect the upsurge in cases – meaning Brits holidaying in Turkey may have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
It comes after a similar spike in France of 3,310 new cases in 24 hours prompted Britain to impose a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from France on Friday.
Turkey's total death count is now nearing 6,000, according to the government, which rolled out new enforcement measures in a coronavirus crackdown earlier this month.
Now doctors have warned the virus has hit health workers as it gained traction through the summer as holidaymakers flock to beach resorts and fears are growing about further surges.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter there were 1,256 new cases and 21 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing total cases above 278,000. He's now urging Turks to work together to turn things around.
For three weeks last month, new cases had hovered just under 1,000, the highest figure since June 30.
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Turkey mostly lifted a partial lockdown on June 1 and recently imposed fines for those who do not wear masks and maintain social distancing in public.
The Turkish Medics Association said in a report on Friday that, based on its analysis of government antibody tests, there are likely some 10 times more active coronavirus patients than suggested by the official tally based on virus tests.
It added that 27 doctors and 53 healthcare workers have died from the virus in the last five months. "The cautious approach expected of individuals was not demonstrated by the central authority," it said.
Earlier this month, the health minister dismissed as "unfounded" claims some hospitals and cities were at capacity due to Covid-19.
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