After only a week on the UK’s safe travel list, Portugal looks set to go back on the UK’s quarantine list as they surpass the threshold set by the UK government for safe travel.
BRITISH travellers on holiday in Portugal may once again face a sudden disruption of their vacation as coronavirus cases per 100,000 people has increased to 21.1, which is over the limit of 20 per 100,000 set by the UK government.
The decision surrounding whether Portugal should return to the UK’s Quarantine list is expected to be made on Thursday; however, it is important to highlight that the guidance figures do not implement an automatic move to the quarantine list and the UK government will have to make a judgement call on whether to return visitors from Portugal into a 14-day quarantine on their return.
A source at the Department for Transport has been quoted as saying, “Decisions around which countries are added or removed to the list are based on the joint biosecurity centre coronavirus risk assessment, which is informed by a number of factors, including the continued increase of coronavirus within a country and the numbers of new cases and potential trajectory of the disease in the coming weeks.”
British Airways have announced that, they believe, the UK government has effectively closed the country for business due to its continuing shifting of the goal posts, making it impossible for the public, at home and abroad, to make informed decisions about their travels.
The boss of British Airways’ parent company has accused the UK government of “using arbitrary statistics to effectively ban 160 countries and in the process destroying the economy.”
Mon update: A tough call for @transportgovuk in this Thursday’s weekly review as #Portugal now moves firmly into the red zone for quarantine while #Gibraltar still tops the list. Timing may help as most #British tourists will be heading home this week. #coronavirus @ThePCAgency pic.twitter.com/07UAotbheD
— Paul Charles (@PPaulCharles) August 31, 2020
After the UK removed Portugal from the quarantine list only a week ago a range of easyJet flights from London already displayed as unavailable with Jet2 capitalising on the sudden change in Portugal’s status.
While airlines exploited the new “safe list” status of Portugal, travellers may now face irritation and anger if quarantine measures are reintroduced for the country.
Any new restrictions will not likely come into effect until the weekend, after an analysis of new coronavirus figures occurs on Thursday.