Covid breakthrough: Holiday boost for Brits as Portugal to have ‘red list’ status lifted

EU: Expert warns of 'distrust' in Portugal

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Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, is expected to announce changes to the UK’s ‘red list’ travel ban on Monday, with restrictions on Portugal lifted. Brits are forced to quarantine on arrival in a Government approved hotel if returning from anywhere in the 33-country list, which includes South Africa and Brazil.

Mr Shapps is expected to announce Portugal’s removal from the list on Monday.

Direct flights from the country will therefore be lifted, and arrivals will not have to quarantine for 11 days at a cost of £1,750 per person.

However, under the lockdown roadmap Brits will be unable to travel abroad until at least May 17.

Portugal is the only European country on the ‘red list’, which mostly includes Southern American and southern African nations.

It was placed under the harshest travel restrictions due to its historic links to Brazil, where a concerning strain of COVID-19 has emerged.

Henry Smith, the Tory MP who chairs the all party Future of Aviation Group, hailed the news.

He told the Telegraph: “This is positive news. Portugal is a significant destination for British holidaymakers.

“It being off the red list is a sign that we are slowly getting back to normality for not only people being able to enjoy summer holidays but for the package tourist trade.”

It comes after Portugal, along with Cyprus, announced they want to welcome Brits back for holidays this summer.

Last week Rita Marques, Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism, told the BBC: “I do believe that Portugal will soon allow restriction-free travel, not only for vaccinated people, but those who are immune or who test negative.

“We hope to welcome British tourists from May 17.”

She added the coronavirus situation in Portugal was “stable” and said, “Everything will be ready by mid May.”

The Cypriot government also said last week that those who have been fully vaccinated can enter the country without restrictions from May 1.

The UK has recorded another 6,609 cases and 175 deaths within 28 days of a positive test from COVID-19 yesterday.

In total, the UK has seen 4,248,286 cases and 125,343 deaths from the virus.

Yesterday also the total of first coronavirus vaccine doses administered reach 23,314,525.

The lockdown roadmap also sees the “rule of six” lifted for those gathering outdoors, should the rate of infection stay below one and the vaccine rollout continues at pace.

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