Arrivals into the UK from Portugal will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days, following the government’s decision to add the country to the list of ef exempted destinations.
The change will come into effect from 0400 on Saturday August 22, and will be a welcome relief for Portugal’s tourism industry, with the national tourism board describing itself as “delighted”.
But Austria, Croatia and Trinidad and Tobago have been removed from the exemption list, following spikes in Covid-19 cases. In a statement the Department for Transport said:
“Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in all three destinations, leading to ministers removing these destinations from the current list of travel corridors.
“The weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 for Croatia has increased from 10.4 on 12 August to 27.4 on 19 August (164 per cent increase). There has been a consistent increase in the weekly incidence rate of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago over the past 4 weeks, with a 232 per cent increase in weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 between 12 and 19 August. In Austria, the weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 of the population has increased from 10.5 on 13 August to 20.3 on 20 August (93 per cent increase).”
At the same time the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to Croatia, Trinidad and Tobago and Austria.
The move follows last week’s decision to add France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba to the list of destinations where quarantine is required on arrival into the UK.
In a statement the president of the Portuguese National Tourism Board, Luis Araújo, said:
“We are delighted to have the UK government confirmation for Portugal’s inclusion in an air bridge arrangement to prevent mandatory quarantine upon return to the United Kingdom.
“For quite some time now tourism and government officials have consistently maintained our unwavering confidence in the safety of Portugal as a result of a thoroughly efficient and effective multi-sector strategy to contain the virus as early as possible and the implementation of concise measures and infrastructure with the capacity to prepare the tourism sector for a safe reopening.
“We are now delighted to have arrived at a decision which we feel far better reflects the reality of the situation in Portugal.”