Turkey late Sunday joined other European countries in banning flights from the UK and other countries due to concerns over a new fast-moving coronavirus strain.
"It has been reported that the rate of transmission has increased in the UK with the mutation of the coronavirus," Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
"Under the directives of our President in coordination with our Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, a temporary suspension has been decided for flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa to our country," Koca said.
The move came as several European countries – including France, Germany, Italy, and Austria – announced a suspension of flights from the UK amid news of the strain.
The World Health Organization also asked European countries to redouble their health measures amid the new fast-spreading strain.
Late on Sunday, in a statement on Twitter, Koca said that as part of the measures, all passengers who are on flights that are still en route will be tested and quarantine rules will be applied when they arrive.
“Measures are carried out in full coordination,” Koca added.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines’ CEO Bilal Eksi said on Twitter that as part of the decision of the Turkish Health Ministry to suspend flights from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa, “we kindly request that none of our passengers take a rush in ticket transactions.”
“None of our passengers will be victimized regarding ticket transactions,” he added.
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