Russia suspends most air travel with Turkey until June 1 over Covid-19 outbreak
4 months ago tngadmin Comments Off on Russia suspends most air travel with Turkey until June 1 over Covid-19 outbreak
Citing Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, Russian media reports say the suspension over COVID-19 concerns will last from April 15 to June 1
Flights will resume if developments in the pandemic show a positive trend, she added, speaking at a video conference with other members of the government, according to RIA Novosti.
Golikova also said travel agencies were recommended to halt sales of tours to Turkey and the East African country of Tanzania, where flights have also been suspended.
Russian authorities will closely follow the situation with COVID-19 in both Turkey and Tanzania and take steps as needed, she added.
However, two flights a week will still run between Moscow and Istanbul, she said.
Russian chief sanitary inspector Anna Popova told the same briefing that fully 80% of the cases of COVID-19 identified in Russians returning from abroad were in people who came from Turkey.
RIA Novosti cited the Russian Association of Tour Operators as saying that Borsa Istanbul’s tourism index declined 6.4% on Monday as rumors spread that flights may be suspended, closing at the lowest level since January 11.
Russia was the biggest source of tourists to Turkey last year, with 2.13 million people visiting despite coronavirus restrictions.
The Bloomberg says daily cases in Turkey, the highest in Europe, hit a record 55,941 on April 8. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly expected to announce stricter social distancing measures after today’s cabinet meeting.
Erdogan hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the weekend amid rising tensions with Moscow over a massive Russian troop buildup near its border with Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with Erdogan about the Ukraine crisis and the Covid-19 situation the day before.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied any link between the flight ban and Zelensky’s visit, telling RIA Novosti the move is solely related to the coronavirus situation, according to the Bloomberg.