Turkey to test, isolate passengers evacuated from Britain, Denmark amid virus mutation concerns

Turkish Airlines warned that all passengers being evacuated from Britain or Denmark would be tested and isolated in their residences for seven days upon arrival in Istanbul. The evacuation flights are a precautionary measure against a novel mutation of the coronavirus that's reportedly up to 70 percent more contagious.

Two passengers at London's Heathrow Airport check a screen on Dec. 21.

Duvar English

Turkish Airlines said that all passengers who will travel on evacuation flights from Britain or Denmark would be subject to PCR tests upon arrival in Istanbul, and that they would be mandated to self-isolate for seven days.

The evacuation flights are a precautionary measure against a 70% more infectious novel mutation of the coronavirus that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently said was detected in the country. 

"For entrance in Turkey, PCR test is compulsory on arrival at the airport. After the test, the passengers should go directly to their declared residence address and stay in 7-day isolation," said an official statement on the airline's website.

The passengers will be monitored during their isolation, and will only be released if they test negative on a second PCR test at the end of the seven-day period, the airline added. 

The Health Ministry's filiation teams will take over their care if a passenger tests positive at the end of their isolation period.

Evacuation flights will transport "passengers who hold a Turkish Republic passport, have a residence permit in Turkey, and who are government officials or diplomatic staff."