Portugal to be removed from ‘red list’ in major holiday boost – hotel quarantine axed

Portugal to be removed from UK's quarantine red list

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Portugal holidays are now once again back on the cards. Portugal has been removed from England’s travel red list, the Department for Transport (DfT) said today. This will come into force on Friday 19 April

The Government added that a ban on flights had also been lifted as it was confident the risk of importing coronavirus variants had reduced.

Travellers from Portugal will not have to quarantine in a government-approved facility.

However, they will still have to self-isolate at home for ten days, as is the case with travellers from other countries.

From Friday, jet-setters can use Test and Release (which arrivals from red list countries are unable to do).

They will have to take a test on day two and day eight to end self-isolation early.

“Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from England’s red list,” the transport ministry said.

“The flight and maritime ban from Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) will also be removed, following evidence that shows the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced.

“Portugal has put steps in place to mitigate the risk from its links with countries where variants have become a concern, and now has genomic surveillance in place.”

Anyone who arrives from Portugal, Madeira, the Azores and Mauritius before Friday will still have to carry out hotel quarantine.

“Passengers from these destinations who arrived before 4am on Friday 19 March must stay in their hotel for the remainder of their 10-day quarantine period,” said the DfT.

Today’s announcement also revealed that Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar were being added to England’s travel red list.

“Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar have been added to England’s red list to protect the country against new variants of coronavirus (COVID-19), at a critical time for the vaccine programme,” said the Government.

“With over 24 million vaccinations delivered in the UK so far, the move will help to reduce the risk of new variants – such as those first identified in South Africa and Brazil – entering England.

“From 4am on Friday 19 March 2021, visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.

“Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter and must stay in a government-approved facility for 10 days.

“During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day two and day eight.

“A ban on commercial and private planes travelling from Oman, Ethiopia and Qatar will also come into force on Friday to reduce the risk of importing variants of concern. This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.”

Portugal: British tourists discuss holidays in September 2020

If anyone is in these counties they should use commercial options to return to the UK.

“The government continues to work with the hospitality sector to ensure it is ready to meet any increased demand – with over 58,000 rooms on standby, which can be made available to book as needed,” said the DfT.

“British nationals currently in the countries on the red list should make use of the commercial options available if they wish to return to England. Commercial routes that will enable British and Irish nationals and residents to return to England continue to operate.

“British nationals in these countries should check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice and follow local guidance.

“The FCDO will continue to offer tailored consular assistance to British nationals in the country in need of support overseas on a 24/7 basis.”

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