Numerous Cities on List For Potentially Losing Air Travel

The ball is now in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s court when it comes to deciding whether to grant the request of domestic airlines to significantly trim certain cities and airport from their respective service lists.

And, ironically, it comes at a time when the majority of the country is starting to reopen for business in the wake of the effects from the coronavirus pandemic.

The government comment period on the matter ended on Thursday, leaving the matter to a decision by the DOT, which has not said when it will issue a ruling according to USA Today.

Airlines are looking to drop service to conserve some desperately needed cash, with demand for air travel having dropped to unprecedented lows. At one point, screenings by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were off 94 percent compared to a similar date last year. But as a condition of accepting federal grants and loans as part of the CARES Act stimulus package, U.S. carriers needed to maintain the same amount of service it offered prior to the coronavirus impact as well as seek permission from the DOT to drop routes.

But the cuts could be devastating to small airports.

According to USA Today, Anthony Dudas, the airport director in Williston, North Dakota, said that the town is a gateway to the rich Bakken oil fields. Before the pandemic, it had five daily flights from United and Delta. Now, those flights have been reduced to one a day for each of the two airlines. If Delta is granted permission to suspend service, the community will be down even further – serving a $275 million airport that opened last year.

“While we understand the need for air carriers to have flexibility in adjusting schedules and services, we believe the impact from significantly reducing air service to western North Dakota will be enormous,” Dudas wrote.

Here is the list of cities that could be dropped.


Charleston, South Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

El Paso, Texas

New Orleans

San Antonio, Texas


New Orleans

Ogdensburg, New York

Palm Springs, California

San Antonio

Springfield, Illinois

Tucson, Arizona


Aspen, Colorado

Eagle, Colorado

Montrose/Delta, Colorado

Worcester, Massachusetts


Portland, Maine

Corvus Airlines

Goodnews Bay, Alaska

Kodiak, Alaska

Napakiak, Alaska

Napaskiak, Alaska

Platinum, Alaska


Aspen, Colorado

Bangor, Maine

Erie, Pennsylvania

Flint, Michigan

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Lincoln, Nebraska

New Bern/Morehead/Beaufort, North Carolina

Peoria, Illinois

Santa Barbara, California

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Williston, North Dakota


Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida


Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina

Mobile, Alabama

Palm Springs

Portland, Maine

Tyler, Texas


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Palm Springs

Sacramento, California

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

Worcester, Massachusetts

Seaborne Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Culebra, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico


Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Huntsville, Alabama

Key West, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida


Asheville, North Carolina

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands

Christiansted, Virgin Islands

Greensboro/High Point, North Carolina

Plattsburgh, New York


Nashville, Tennessee


Madison, Wisconsin


Portland, Oregon


St. Louis, Missouri


Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Pennsylvania

Charlotte Amalie

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Fairbanks, Alaska

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Ithaca/Cortland, New York

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Key West, Florida

Lansing, Michigan

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Rochester, Minnesota

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Pakistan jet grazed runway at 327kph without landing gear

As Flight 8303 from Lahore approached Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport last Friday afternoon, air-traffic controllers were concerned that it wasn’t descending on the proper path

A deadly plane crash in Pakistan is prompting questions about how the crew could touch down without landing gear when their sophisticated jetliner was bristling with equipment to prevent pilots from doing just that.

After an abrupt descent that had unnerved air-traffic controllers, the pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines jet on Friday briefly put the aircraft on the runway without the landing gear, grinding along on its two engines at a speed of more than 327 kilometres (203) miles) per hour, according to preliminary data.

The pilots aborted the landing attempt, climbing back into the sky, but reported shortly afterward they’d lost power. The Airbus A320 apparently glided into a neighbourhood as pilots were attempting to return to the same runway, killing 97 of 99 people aboard.

“It is unbelievable to me that an airline crew on a jet like an Airbus, with all the warning systems, would attempt to land the plane without the gear extended,” said John Cox, an aviation safety consultant who formerly flew the A320 as a US airline pilot.

In addition to checklists designed to make sure pilots don’t attempt to touch down without the landing gear, the jetliner has multiple warning systems designed to alert crews if they somehow forget or the gear aren’t working.

“The airplane is not happy that you’re this close to the ground without the gear extended,” said Cox, who is president of consulting company Safety Operating Systems.

It’s not yet clear why the two jet engines quit after functioning well enough for about two minutes to lift them about 3,000 feet (915 metres) above the runway. Engines have become so reliable that losing two at the same time is almost always because of some common factor, such as damage from hitting a runway or a problem with the fuel supply.

Regardless, the bizarre landing attempt – which was carried out without any indication from the crew that they’d had an emergency during their initial descent – either triggered the accident or was a catalyst that worsened the situation, according to Cox and others who have studied crashes.

A Pakistan International spokesman declined to comment on “incomplete information.” An Airbus spokesman referred queries to Pakistani authorities. Civil aviation spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar didn’t respond to a call on his mobile phone.

As Flight 8303 from Lahore approached Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport last Friday afternoon, air-traffic controllers were concerned that it wasn’t descending on the proper path, according to a report cited by Sky News. A controller cautioned the pilots that they were “high” and urged them to adjust, according to the leaked preliminary report.

Turn back

“We are comfortable. We can make it,” the pilot can be heard telling the controller, according to a recording of Karachi’s air-traffic radio posted on the website.

Twice as the plane neared the runway, a controller told pilots to turn and break off their approach, according to the report. Again, the pilot declined, responding on the radio he was “comfortable” and was prepared to land on runway 25-Left.

At no point did the pilots say they had a problem with their landing gear or any other type of emergency, according to the radio calls.

Approaching a runway with such a rapid descent, which often leads to higher-than-recommended speeds, is a harbinger of danger, according to decades of warnings from investigative agencies such as the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the nonprofit Flight Safety Foundation.

After the controllers finally cleared the plane to land — despite their earlier warnings — the pilot replied, “Roger.” In the background, the sound of a cockpit warning chime can be heard.

Too much energy

The jetliner was well above the normal speed as it neared the runway, said Jeffrey Guzzetti, the former chief accident investigator for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. It was traveling at roughly 250 miles an hour at about 1,000 feet above the ground, according to the tracking website, Flightradar24.

That’s more than 50 miles per hour faster than is typical for jets like the A320, Guzzetti said.

“They have too much energy for a normal landing,” he said.

It not only increases the chances of skidding off the runway, but puts additional pressure on the pilots to slow the big jet and can lead to other things going wrong.

Flightradar24’s data suggests that the jet was traveling at 375 kilometers (233 miles) per hour when it reached the runway and slowed to about 327 kilometers per hour as it lifted off. The data hasn’t been validated by investigators.

While it’s possible that in the chaos and confusion they might have have forgotten about the landing gear, it’s still puzzling, according to Guzzetti and Cox.

Computer system

The A320’s on-board computer system issues both a warning sound and illuminates a light to draw attention to a text message if the gear isn’t out as the plane nears the ground.

A separate safety system designed to prevent aircraft from inadvertently striking the ground also senses when the gear isn’t deployed before landing. Its recorded voice repeatedly says “Too low, gear” if the problem continues.

Before-landing check lists also require crews to verify that the plane’s instruments show the gear is locked into place.

“It’s very unusual in modern transport category aircraft to have a no-gear landing, just because the checklist and the warnings that go off,” Guzzetti said.

At about 2:34 p.m., the plane slammed onto the runway. Its engines left a series of black smudge marks, starting at 4,500 feet from the start of the landing strip, according to video of the runway broadcast by news outlets. It shows three separate patches, as if the plane skipped into the air between impacts.

“Going around,” a pilot on the jet told controllers, the term for aborting a landing and taking off again.

The plane climbed about 3,000 feet, but couldn’t hold its altitude, according to the radio transmissions and flight data.

“Sir, we have lost engines,” a pilot said. Then, 30 seconds later, he said, “Mayday. Mayday. Mayday.”

Seconds later, the plane hit the ground.

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Kate Middleton and Prince William hate doing this when travelling – Prince Philip loves it

Kate Middleton and Prince William have enjoyed plenty of foreign travel over the years. As representatives of the Royal Family while away they meet a whole host of important figures from around the world. They also take part in all sorts of activities, from sporting games to black-tie dinners.


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It’s hard to think that the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband relish everything they come across during these visits.

Indeed, there’s one thing that Kate and William are not overly fond of.

Royal visits often involve trying alcohol from that country or region.

Not all types of booze are met with enthusiasm, though.

The Duke and Duchess are said to dislike drinking beer.

A source previously told the Mirror: “Neither Kate nor William is a big beer drinker.”

Instead of beer, Kate and William are understood to prefer wine.

During the couple’s Canadian tour in 2016, they headed to Mission Hill Winery, where they sampled some of the best alcohols on offer.

They admitted they “really enjoyed the Oculus” according to Graham Nordin, director of wine experience at Mission Hill Winery.

Kate and William explained that they were Merlot drinkers usually, meaning they often opt for red wine when travelling.

Their preferences contrast strongly to those of the Duke of Cambridge’s’s grandfather.

Prince Philip, 98, is a well-known beer lover.


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While dining in Rome back in in 2000, he is said to have exclaimed: “Get me a beer.

“I don’t care what kind it is. Just get me a beer!” when he was offered fine Italian wine by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s favourite beer brand is said to have been Boddingtons, a regional brewery in Manchester.

Unfortunately, the brewery ceased operations back in 2005.

Philip also favours Double Diamond Burton Pale Ale.

Prince Philip visited the home of Double Diamond at the Ind Coope and Samuel Allsopp brewhouse during a royal visit in December 1995.

To commemorate his visit, a special “Royal Diamond” beer was produced and sent to the palace.

Former royal footman Paul Burrell even claimed in his book A Royal Duty that Philip drank a small bottle nightly.

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New United CEO Scott Kirby Comes Out Firing

United Airlines’ Scott Kirby, who took over as CEO last week in the wake of Oscar Munoz’s retirement, is wasting no time establishing his authority.

Kirby cut 13 high-level executives in a cash-saving move on Friday as the coronavirus pandemic has throttled the industry financially. A day earlier, he told an online investor conference that the airline absolutely would not declare bankruptcy, and that he thought flying was safe enough to not block the middle seats on planes from being sold.

Well, he did build a reputation as an open – some might say abrasive – executive while at American Airlines.

Kirby is eliminating 13 of United’s 67 officer positions, all effective on Oct. 1. That’s the day after the restrictions on firing employees runs out per the federal government’s rules for airlines accepting billions of dollars in stimulus package grants and loans.

“While there are glimmers of good news in our July schedule — we expect to be down about 75% versus 90% right now — travel demand is still a very long way from where it was at the end of last year and the financial impact on our business remains severe,” United said in a written statement as reported by CNBC.

The cuts are in response to the loss of nearly 90 percent of business for United and all airlines, as the demand for travel has dropped dramatically compared to last year and beyond.

But Kirby defiantly said during the investor conference a day before that he has no plans for the airline to go bankrupt.

“Zero percent, no chance,” Kirby said. “It’s worse for shareholders. It’s worse for creditors. It’s worse for employees. It’s worse for every constituent that we have.”

To that end, Kirby also said he won’t sacrifice potential sales by blocking middle seats, as some airlines have done. As the blog The Points Guy noted, Kirby said the airline’s cleaning process, air circulation and a requirement for passengers and crew to wear face masks make it a safe experience.

“Airplanes don’t have social distancing — we’re not going to be six feet apart,” he said. “But an airplane environment is incredibly safe.”

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Disney World Updates Reservation System Ahead of Reopening

Walt Disney World Resort has announced a series of updates for new ticket sales and hotel reservations; dining and experiences and FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours ahead of the attraction’s phased reopening beginning on July 11.

The parks will manage attendance through a new reservation system on that will require all guests to make a reservation in advance of their visit in order to gain entry.

Disney is temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so it can prioritize existing tickets and reservations. Those guests with existing tickets and Annual Passholders can make a reservation before new tickets are sold and will be contacted with additional details.

New ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations will resume at a later time, with reservations limited due to attendance restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 impact.

Upon reopening, some offerings, including restaurants and behind-the-scenes tours will also be limited in capacity. Disney has canceled all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages, but plans to reopen a limited number of dining and experience bookings closer to reopening.

What’s more, Disney is moving from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day window for dining and experience bookings so that guests can secure plans much closer to their visit.

Finally, Disney announced that its FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being so that it can use the additional queue space to manage capacity and maintain social distancing. Existing FastPass+ selections will be automatically canceled as a result and Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.

Disney is reaching out to affected guests to provide them with additional information and details on what their options are, including refunds.

Contact your travel advisor or visit the “Know Before You Go” hub at for the latest information.

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FCO travel advice: When will FCO lift travel ban?

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential international travel. At the beginning of the outbreak many British nationals were stuck abroad as the world’s airports began to shut down in response to the growing threat of coronavirus.

The FCO’s exceptional travel advisory notice reads: “As countries respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

“Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines have suspended flights and many airports are closed, preventing flights from leaving.”


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The travel advisory has been in place since March 17.

Travelling to another country while a travel advisory is out will invalidate all travel insurance claims.

When will the FCO lift travel bans?

Strictly speaking, travel advisories are not travel bans.

You cannot be prosecuted for travelling internationally – although you will not be able to obtain travel insurance.

Although many airlines have been forced to ground their fleets, some commercial flights have been running, and the Government repatriated stuck Britons earlier on in the crisis.

Flights will resume for many of the big providers soon, with Jet2, Easyjet and Ryanair all announcing plans to sell flights again in June.

Despite this, the advisory has not been lifted and the Government has not solidly indicated when this will happen.

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The Government said it is continuing to look at further options for international travel.

These include “air bridges” – agreements between countries with similar transmission rates to recognise the other nation’s passenger departure screening measures and remove the need for quarantine measures for incoming passengers.

The “air bridges” scheme was approved by the Government earlier this week.

However, none of these are set in stone and only essential travel is permitted.

The changes come as the summer holiday season grows closer, with some countries putting their own bans on Brits travelling to popular destinations due to the UK’s high death and infection rate.

Those who travel into the UK will soon have to quarantine for 14 days, in plans announced earlier this month.

Greece announced that once the country had opened up to international travel again, the UK is not among the 29 countries permitted to travel there.

Greece has so far had far fewer cases of coronavirus than the UK, with 2,906 confirmed cases and 175 deaths. The Greek islands, which rely heavily on tourism, have had no confirmed cases.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.

“We are introducing these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.”

UK arrivals from the Common Travel Area, including Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, will be exempt from the rule, alongside a very limited group of workers, including freight drivers and medical professionals.

Anyone else arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train would be required to provide border officials with an address where they will self isolate, and will be checked in on to make sure they are abiding by the rules.

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Mexico holidays: Cancun offering holidaymakers free hotels and meals as country reopens

Mexico holidays are normally much loved by Britons thanks to the sun, sea and sand on offer as well as fascinating history and taste cuisine. Sadly trips to the destination have not been possible for several months due to the coronavirus crisis. However, Mexican tourist hotpot Cancun is now eager to tempt visitors back.


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The resort is offering a brand new campaign to gift tourist with a number of freebies.

These range from free meals, theme park entry and hotel stays.

The private initiative will be officially launched on June 15 and involves more than 200 firms.

The new campaign revolves around the number two.

The hotels involved are offering two nights free for every two nights booked or a free stay for two children when two adults book.

A similar discount would apply to hire care rental.

This could see holidaymakers getting two days free for every four days they pay for.

According to local reports, offers for golf and spa services and theme park entry will also be included in the Mexico campaign.

Also expected to take part are tourist-orientated businesses in the resorts of Puerto Morelos and Tulum, as well as the Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres, eight miles off the coast from Cancun.

Three-quarters of those backing the campaign are hotels.

Roberto Cintron, President of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Hotels Association, said: “We are very happy and above all, committed because of the great participation in this campaign of the different state hotel associations as well as the tourist industry generally.

“It’s designed to reactivate holidays to our destinations after the crisis caused by Covid-19.”


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Oliver Reinhart is CEO of Mexican firm Atelier de Hoteles which has luxury all-inclusive hotels in Cancun and Playa Mujeres.

He told local media: “In the face of this atypical situation, we had to react to maintain our spectacular destinations in the forefront of tourists’ minds.

“This is why we proposed the implementation of a disruptive idea and creation of a campaign of great impact.

“We are convinced the formula to reactivate tourism is working together.

Reinhart continued: “The campaign is not about cheating the destination to a two for one.

“Cancun is worth what it is.

“If it’s now available at a cheaper price take advantage of it because it’s not going to last forever.”

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Chinese airlines to operate more flights than US carriers in May

Chinese airlines have flown more passenger flights in a month than US carriers for the first time ever

  • Data shows Chinese airlines operated 200,000 flights from May 1 until May 27
  • This compares with fewer than 170,000 flights by carriers based in the U.S 
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May 2020 will be the first-ever month in which Chinese airlines operate more passenger jet flights than their US counterparts.

Tracking data from Cirium shows from Friday, May 1, up to and including Wednesday, May 27, Chinese carriers completed nearly 200,000 flights with passenger-configured widebody, narrowbody and regional jet aircraft.

This compares with fewer than 170,000 flights in May by carriers based in the U.S.

A graph showing how Chinese airlines are currently operating more flights than U.S airlines 

Cirium said that China achieved this milestone ‘because its airlines have recovered to an activity level approximately 35 per cent below last year’.

It added that US operators remain 74 per cent down as a result of the collapse in passenger demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, the global stored passenger aircraft fleet has declined slightly to just over 15,000, says Cirium, taking the overall proportion of inactive aircraft down a further percentage point to 57 per cent.

Yesterday, American Airlines revealed it would be cutting 30 per cent of its management and support staff in its latest belt-tightening move during the prolonged Covid-19 downturn. 

China’s airlines have recovered to an activity level approximately 35 per cent below last year

The big US carrier outlined a series of measures to reduce headcount throughout its operations in an email to staff that was released in a securities filing on Thursday.

American currently has a team of 17,000 people in management and support, meaning the actions planned will cut about 5,100 jobs.

The move follows statements from United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other carriers that have signalled deep job cuts due to sinking air travel demand from coronavirus shutdowns.

American Airlines has revealed it will be cutting 30 per cent of its management and support staff in its latest belt-tightening move during the prolonged Covid-19 downturn

Meanwhile, aircraft maker Boeing, one of America’s largest manufacturers as well as its number one exporter, is cutting more than 12,000 U.S jobs.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the airline industry means a deep cut in the number of commercial jets and services our customers will need over the next few years, which in turn means fewer jobs on our lines and in our offices,’ said David Calhoun, CEO and president of Boeing, on Wednesday in a memo to employees.

The Chicago-based company said it would lay off 6,770 U.S employees this week, and another 5,520 workers are taking buyout offers to leave voluntarily in the coming weeks.

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Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende Begins Reopening Process on June 1

One of Mexico’s most iconic destinations—San Miguel de Allende—has begun the process of reopening its doors to tourism, and will enter into Phase 0 of the country’s COVID-19 reactivation plan on June 1.

The first phase of the reopening, which affects residents, will include the reopening of restaurants, shopping centers, markets, public transportation and offices—but not hotels, bars or clubs.

Restaurants will be permitted to operate at 50 percent of capacity and markets at 30 percent of capacity, said San Miguel de Allende Major Luis Alberto Villarreal García.

“We still haven’t opened the doors to our visitors. San Miguel is not opening to tourism, not yet,” he said, adding that it will be a gradual process.

During Phase 0, businesses are applying for Health First certifications to work toward ensuring they are in compliance with cleanliness and sanitation protocols.

Hotels—which tourism officials said might open in Phase 1—will also be required to apply for Health First certifications and demonstrate that they meeting the required protocols to reopen. Certification is “free but mandatory,” Villarreal said.

Other destinations in Mexico are also preparing to welcome travelers again.

In Los Cabos, reopening is scheduled to begin on June 1, with the resumption of travel activities and limited national and international arrivals.

Quintana Roo announced that the Mexican state’s tourism industry will begin reopening on June 8.

Earlier this week, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit entered the Stage 0 reopening process.

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Turkey holidays: When will Turkey allow UK tourists?

Turkey is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits, with beautiful beaches, warm weather and a range of sights to see. However, holidays have been put on hold this year as the world grapples with the spread of coronavirus.

Many countries are beginning to lift strict lockdown restrictions, and Turkey is starting to ease some measures.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will lift restrictions on intercity travel and allow restaurants, cafes, parks and sports facilities to reopen from Monday, June 1.

Museums and beaches will also open from June 1, Mr Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.

He said restrictions would remain in place on the movements of those aged over 65 and under 18.

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The virus has killed nearly 4,500 people in Turkey, with more than 160,000 infections.

The economy is expected to tip into recession as a result of the containment measures.

Mr Erdogan said in a televised address: “Under the new normal order, let us not neglect masks, distancing and hygiene.”

He said: “We don’t have the slightest doubt that we will make up for all our losses of the last 2-1/2 months in a short period of time.

“Let’s definitely wear masks out, maintain physical distance and pay attention to hygiene. These are three essential things for us.”

In early April, Turkey stopped all travel between 31 cities, including Istanbul, excluding transit passage and essential supplies.

The country then reduced the restrictions to 15 cities but they will end on June 1.

Among other easing measures, Turkey began operating intercity trains on Thursday after a two-month break.

Mosques will also begin allowing mass prayers from today, May 29.

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When can British tourists return to Turkey?

Despite Turkey beginning to reduce lockdown measures across the country, it may be a while yet until Brits can fly to the country.

British tourists are not expected to return until at least autumn, with domestic travellers the priority, according to local media.

This is due to fears of another outbreak, as well as making sure social distancing guidelines are being enforced.

Some restrictions may be in place when British tourists can return, with some holiday resorts across the country potentially requiring guests to prove they don’t have COVID-19 with health certificates.

As part of the fight against the deadly virus, hotels, airports and attractions will all be sterilised.

These locations will also be told to allow enough space for social distancing.

Other measures may include temperature checks at hotels and airports.

For anyone wanting to fly, the UK will be enforcing a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering the country, including British nationals, from next month.

On arriving into the UK, travellers will have to fill out a form and give details of any onward journeys and where they will be staying.

The Government may then contact travellers within those 14 days to ensure quarantine rules are being adhered to.

Current Government guidelines on international travel stipulate only essential journeys should take place.

This also applies to anyone looking to holiday in Britain, with the guidance stating: “Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”

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