Travel

Travel Rules For Mexico, Turkey, Cyprus & Thailand

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The UK government has made a series of changes to its international travel rules in recent days. 

The alterations mean that fully vaccinated, in-bound Brits now require fewer tests on their return to England from most countries around the world.

Latest travel rules for the UK’s other devolved nations can be found here: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.

Only Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela now remain on the UK’s ‘red’ list, where returning travellers are required to quarantine in a government-sanctioned hotel for 10 days.

But what about venturing to popular destinations from the UK? Different countries have their own requirements, so below we take a look at the inbound rules for four destinations that are seeing plenty of interest from Brits eager to catch some sun: Mexico, Turkey, Cyprus and Thailand.

Wherever you decide to head off to in the world, a comprehensive travel insurance policy should cover you for everything from emergency medical costs incurred abroad, to stolen items, lost luggage, or for a trip that gets cancelled. This link will take you to our page where you can find a quote for travel insurance.

Back in the game

The government’s decision to add a raft of new countries to the Rest of the World list prompted considerable interest from would-be travellers in destinations that have been off the agenda since the start of the pandemic.

Travel company Skyscanner, for example, said that daily searches for Mexico increased by 126% in the 24-hours after the announcement on 7 October that the country was being removed from the red list. 

Laura Lindsay at Skyscanner said: “Hotel quarantine had effectively shut off some favourite travellers’ spots until now. Mexico’s popular winter sun resorts look to welcome UK travellers once again, as do Thailand’s island paradise beaches.”

Tui, the UK’s largest travel operator, said it always sees an immediate, strong uptick in bookings when travel restrictions are eased: “As popular favourites Mexico and Cape Verde have been removed from the red list, we’re expecting demand for these destinations to increase significantly.”

Longer breaks

Tui pointed to an emerging trend among would-be holidaymakers: “We’re seeing people wanting to get away for more than seven nights to make up for lost time.”

It added that bookings for next summer are bouncing back strongly, with Greece, Turkey and Cyprus all proving popular. Bookings to Florida have also doubled following a recent announcement from the United States that inbound travel would once again be possible for UK travellers from November.

According to the latest research from ABTA, the travel association, almost half of people (46%) have booked or are considering taking a winter holiday this year, a higher proportion than was recorded before the pandemic. 

ABTA added: “Anecdotal evidence from our members suggests bookings have picked up across the board, namely from destinations such as the Canaries, Turkey, Madeira, ski destinations and also long-haul bucket-list places such as the Maldives.”

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MEXICO

Entry requirements (Covid-19)

According to the UK government, before boarding a flight to Mexico it is mandatory to register on the Mexico Vuela Seguro Platform – in essence a health declaration form for air travel – and to show the QR code on arrival at the airport.

Upon arrival, travellers are asked to fill in a health questionnaire, a document available in both Spanish and English. Travellers who present symptoms of Covid-19 upon arrival at a Mexican airport should ask for the International Health Team (Sandidad Internacional). 

Regular entry requirements

Tourists visiting Mexico do not require a visa, but they need to complete an immigration form when both entering and leaving the country. The form is available on flights to Mexico and can also be downloaded in advance online. 

Immigration officials may request to see visitors’ proof of departure plans from Mexico before allowing access to the country. They may also ask for proof of booked accommodation, along with evidence of the necessary funds to cover a stay in Mexico.

Travellers may need to pay a departure tax when leaving Mexico, either by air or land. As of April 2021, the state of Quintana Roo charges a tax for all tourists visiting the state.


TURKEY

Entry requirements (Covid-19)

According to the UK government, all arrivals into Turkey (except Turkish citizens or residence permit holders) must complete an online entry form a maximum of 72 hours prior to travel. This is not necessary where Turkey is being used as a transit country to another destination.

All arrivals into Turkey aged 12 or over, including those from the UK, require proof from one of the following:

  • a full course of Covid-19 vaccinations (completed at least 14 days prior to arrival in Turkey)
  • recent recovery from Covid-19
  • a negative PCR test (within 72 hours of arrival)
  • a rapid antigen test (within 48 hours of arrival).

Neither a PCR test, nor a vaccination certificate, are required for children aged 11 and under.

Turkey will accept the UK’s proof of Covid-19 recovery and vaccination record. Travellers must wear a face mask at all times while in an airport and for the duration of all flights, to and from Turkey.

On arrival in Turkey, travellers may undergo a medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks. Arrivals may also be subject to random PCR testing.

Travellers are required to complete a passenger locator form prior to arriving in Turkey. Arrivals will also be asked to provide contact information along with the address of an intended residence during a stay. 

Regular entry requirements

British citizens travelling to Turkey, either for business or tourism purposes, are able to travel without a visa for visits up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

If you’re planning to stay in Turkey for a period of more than 90 days, apply for a longer stay visa before you travel. Alternatively, ask for a residence permit from the local authorities in Turkey before your 90-day stay has elapsed.

The Turkish government advises travellers that passports should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry and that there is a full blank page for entry/exit stamps.

You can read about more entry requirements for Turkey here.


CYPRUS

Entry requirements (Covid-19)

The UK is currently on Cyprus’ red list for travel.

According to the UK government, travellers to Cyprus with proof of two Covid-19 vaccinations are not required to take a PCR test either before departure, or on arrival. However, travellers that have received two vaccinations still need to obtain a Cyprus flight pass. Travellers must fill in the pass before commencing their journey.

Passengers arriving from red countries without proof of two Covid-19 vaccinations must pay for and undergo a PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure for Cyprus and provide proof of a negative result. They must also pay for and undergo another PCR test upon arrival at Larnaca or Paphos airports. Test results should be available within three hours through the Cypriot covid test platform

To qualify for a ‘SafePass’, visitors to Cyprus are required to take a PCR or antigen (rapid) test on day 7 following their arrival into the country and then every 72 hours unless they are able to provide proof of either:

  • having received two doses of the vaccine
  • having contracted coronavirus in the past six months.

Children who arrive in the Republic of Cyprus before their 12th birthday are exempted from testing requirements.

Where relevant, travellers are responsible for ensuring they have uploaded their PCR test result to the Cyprus Flight Pass within 24 hours of departure. Travellers will be asked to present their flight pass prior to boarding and on arrival at immigration.

Northern Cyprus

Travellers arriving to or visiting the north of Cyprus from the UK will be required to undergo a PCR test within 72 hours prior to entering the north and presenting a negative entry result upon entry. 

Travellers who have completed the vaccination programme and/or previously had Covid-19 will not be required to quarantine…

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