Turkey's way of reporting COVID-19 data among reasons why it's on UK's red list: British minister

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has made it clear that Turkey's way of reporting COVID-19 data is one of the reasons why the country has been kept on the UK’s "red" list of countries for international travel.

Tourists walk near Istanbul's Galata Bridge in this file photo.

Duvar English

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has made it clear that the way Turkey reports its COVID-19 data is one of the reasons why the country has been kept on the “red list” for international travel.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, a breakfast program on British television network ITV, on Aug. 5, Shapps was asked why Turkey will remain on Britain's “red list,” whereas India has moved to “amber list.”

Shapps said that the decision was neither “political” nor “economic” but rather “based on science.” He said that apart from the prevalence of COVID-19 among society, other factors such as the “number of people who have been vaccinated, variants in that country and data, whether it is uploaded in an internationally-recognized format” affect whether a country is classified as green, amber or red.

“It would be a combination of those things that have prevented Turkey from appearing on the amber list,” he said.

For any countries on the “red list”, travel into the UK is forbidden for everyone except British and Irish citizens and official UK residents.

The UK government mandates that travelers coming back from red list countries quarantine for 10 days and 11 nights in designated hotels to stop new COVID-19 infections and variants of concern entering the UK.

Travelers also need to pay for the hotel themselves at a cost of £1,750 per person for those journeying alone.

The UK government is reviewing the traffic light system every three weeks, and instructs people not to travel to “red” countries unless for extremely essential reasons.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Aug. 5 confirmed 24,297 new COVID-19 infections and 108 virus-related deaths.

"In order to keep the increase in case numbers under control, the rate of increase needs to slow down. If we can accomplish this with precautions and vaccinations, the control will stay with us," Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted on Aug. 5.