Brits are flying via Turkey to avoid paying £1,750 for UK quarantine hotels

Brits are flying via Turkey to avoid paying £1,750 for UK quarantine hotels


BRITS trying to return from red list countries are skipping the mandatory hotel quarantine – by travelling via Turkey instead.

Currently, destinations including India are on the red list which means returning UK travellers have to pay £1,750 to quarantine at a government-mandated hotel.

To avoid the expensive 10-day quarantine, tour operators are now offering packages which let passengers stay in Turkey for at least 10 days before flying home as the country is not on the red list.

While Brits must still self-isolate for 10 days when they return to the UK, this can be done at home, and only have to pay for two Covid tests which cost around £185.

Other destinations which are on the red list include Pakistan and Bangladesh.

One travel agent told the BBC that he had already arranged 15-20 journeys home via Turkey, as his passengers "couldn't afford to come back."

He explained that with the hotel costs factored in for Turkey, it costs just £600 each, instead of the £1,750.

Mohammad Saad, from Bradford, said he and his son flew back via Turkey when they attended a funeral in Pakistan only for it to be added to the red list.

After they weren't able to change their flights, they instead paid £450 to stay for 10 days in Istanbul, before flying onto the UK.

Leeds taxi driver Zulfiqar Ali said he paid "£100 for 11 nights" when travelling from Pakistan to Turkey, with plans to return to the UK afterwards.

A Department of Transport spokesperson told the BBC that anyone who has not been in a red list country for 10 days does not have to quarantine at a hotel.

Destinations are added to the red list if they pose a threat to the UK's Covid situation.

This includes countries with high cases of Covid, such as India, as they risk importing new strains of the virus.

Turkey itself is facing a third wave which has forced it to go into its first full lockdownin the hope of saving the tourist season.

The UK government will announce tomorrow which countries will be on the "green list" which will allow Brits to go on holiday without having to quarantine on their return.

It is unlikely to include many countries at first, with Portugal, Malta and Gibraltar the few short-haul destinations.

Spain, Greece, Italy and France are all expected to remain off the green list, and instead on the amber list which requires a 10-day home quarantine, although there are hopes this will be lifted by June.

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