The Turkish authorities are not ruling out suspending tourist arrivals if the spread of the Delta coronavirus variants gets out of hand, but there is no such plans as of now, Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said on Monday.
On Sunday, Turkey reported the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since May, logging 7,680 new infections and 66 new deaths.
"There is no guarantee against anything, and we will certainly need to look into what is going on in a number of provinces with the Delta variant," Ersoy told CNN Turk, when asked whether the borders might end up closed.
The decision will be based on the overall COVID-19 situation countrywide, the minister clarified, adding that much will depend on the progress of Turkey's vaccination campaign. According to Ersoy, "it is going alright" so far.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in turn, described the increase in COVID-19 cases over the past several days a "threat that should not be allowed." Speaking to journalists in Istanbul, he urged Turkish citizens to wear masks and respect social distancing as well as get vaccinated.
Erdogan voiced hope that Turkey will be able to decrease its dependency on foreign supplies after developing its own COVID-19 vaccine.
The Turkish vaccination campaign began in January. To date, three vaccine have been employed therein, namely those developed by Sinovac and Pfizer, as well as Russia's Sputnik V.