PORTUGAL would need to see a ‘miracle drop’ in coronavirus cases if it wants to avoid going back on the UK’s quarantine list, it was claimed last night.
The warning has come just a week after tourists were given the green light to visit the country. On Friday, Portugal reported its highest new daily virus figure for seven weeks, with just over 400 cases detected.
The boss of travel consultancy PC Agency, Paul Charles, said the figures for Portugal suggest it could be taken off the Foreign Office travel corridor list in days.
He added: “Portugal is likely to go back on the UK’s quarantine list this week and the country itself is now preparing a ‘state of contingency’ from September 15. It has been unable to manage its caseload over the last two weeks as more tourists have entered Portugal, especially Lisbon and Porto.”
This latest news comes as a disaster for the estimated 75,000 Britons who are either in the country or are due to fly there soon for their holidays. A repeat of the French quarantine fiasco would not be good PR for the country.
Portugal is now listed as an ‘amber’ nation by travel firm, PC Agency, meaning it is approaching the UK threshold for quarantine with 19.4 virus cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day cumulative count – compared for instance to Britain with 12.2. The agency issues a list of coronavirus cases all over the world.
Travel site Skyscanner reported a 2,000 per cent increase in booking when Portugal was added to the UK’s ‘safe list’ travel corridor on August 22. The high infection rates in Spain continue to be a worry to the Spanish government. Until these numbers drop considerably the UK has said it will not consider scrapping quarantine for arrivals from the country.