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Turkey is hopeful that Russia will green light flights to its resort cities

Turkey is hopeful that Russia will green light flights to its resort cities

Turkey is hopeful that Moscow will green light flights to its resort cities following a visit by a Russian delegation, a Turkish official said.

“The Russian delegation will come to the tourist areas, probably Antalya. They will make on-site examinations of the measures we have taken,” Culture and Tourism Deputy Minister Nadir Alpaslan told Anadolu Agency (AA) Sunday.

Expected to arrive in the coming days, the delegation will assess measures taken to protect airports, hotels and other tourist locations from the coronavirus before deciding on when to lift the travel ban.

Moscow last week said it will not allow tourists to travel to Turkish resort cities until at least June 21. It had in April suspended most air travel until June 1.

“Hopefully restrictions will be lifted after June 21,” Alpaslan noted.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has also said flights could restart soon. A delegation led by Ersoy was in Moscow on May 17 to hold meetings on resuming air travel.

Russia’s coronavirus task force cited a “serious epidemiological situation” in Turkey behind the flight suspension.

Yet, daily coronavirus cases in the country have dropped significantly in recent weeks to below 6,000 – down from a record high of above 60,000 in April.

The decline prompted the government to further ease measures, including partially lifting a weekend lockdown and opening businesses such as cafes and restaurants.

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