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THY denies omicron-related travel ban for Turkish air passengers in 7 European countries

Passengers wearing protective face masks wait for flights at the İstanbul Airport. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)

Turkish Airlines (THY), Turkey’s flag carrier, on Thursday denied media reports that seven European nations have barred Turkish passengers from entry as the omicron variant spreads.

Reuters reported earlier in the day based on travel guidance by Turkey’s Civil Aviation Authority (SHGM) that seven European countries including the Netherlands, Italy and Spain have barred air passengers from Turkey out of fear of the rapid spread of the omicron variant. The news agency later withdrew its report.

THY CEO Bilal Ekşi announced on Twitter that no country has informed THY of a ban on Turkish citizens due to omicron, urging the public to follow the company’s website for updates.

Daily coronavirus cases in Turkey reached their highest level since April this week, surging to nearly 37,000, but the number is still significantly below figures reported in parts of Europe.

Turkey has said it was not considering new restrictions for the moment, instead urging citizens to ramp up personal measures and get vaccinated. Ankara launched a nationwide rollout of its domestic COVID-19 vaccine, Turkovac, on Thursday.

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