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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - ANKARA — Turkey's tourism minister is facing calls to resign after public criticism of an official video promoting tourism that includes workers wearing "Enjoy, I'm vaccinated" face masks.
The video was released by the government-linked Go Turkiye travel guide on Thursday, and encourages foreign tourists to visit the "safe haven" for holidays.
"Sanitised resorts and vaccinated staff," the video said as masked waiters were seen serving unmasked visitors. "We call it double safety for tourism. Our guests call it peace of mind."
Thursday's video was not received well by Turks, many of whom said they found it insulting. This resulted in a hashtag trending on the same day calling for the tourism minister's resignation.
According to social media users, the video likened the use of "Enjoy, I'm vaccinated" masks to branding cattle - and said the advertisement suggested Turks were subservient to foreigners. The video has since been removed from all platforms.
Turkey is currently in its final days of a strict lockdown, requiring businesses to close and people stay at home - except for exempt workers and foreign tourists.
In April, coronavirus infections hit highs of 62,000 a day. Restrictions have since lowered this to around 11,500.
Vaccines have so far been prioritized for tourism workers as part of a push to "vaccinate all people tourists may see by the end of May". Nearly 13% of the population have now received both doses of China's Sinovac or the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine; however, many are still waiting their turn.
From May 17, Turkey will no longer require visitors to present a negative COVID-19 test when arriving from countries including Latvia, Luxembourg, Ukraine, Estonia and the United Kingdom. Also on the list are Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Israel and Japan.
Anyone arriving from India, Brazil or South Africa will be required to undergo quarantine. — Euronews
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