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Portugal added to England’s travel quarantine list

Written by on 10 September 2020

Portugal is being added to England’s quarantine list, meaning any travellers arriving from 4am on Saturday will have to isolate for two weeks.

The restriction will not apply to travellers returning from Madeira and the Azores.

Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion have also been added to the list of countries from which travellers to England will have to quarantine.

However, those arriving in England from Sweden will no longer need to isolate.

It comes a week after the government made no changes to the so-called “travel corridors” – but Wales and Scotland both took different approaches, sparking anger and confusion from some holidaymakers.

Last Thursday, Wales added Portugal to its quarantine list – but excluded the Azores and Madeira islands – while Scotland took a blanket approach to the whole country.

Some tourists had been expecting England to do the same, cutting short holidays and forking out hundreds of pounds for early flights home, given the coronavirus infection rate was as high as 23 per 100,000 people.

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Ministers say countries where the figure is higher than 20 per 100,000 are at risk of being added to the list – but at the start of this week the UK tipped over that threshold itself.

The biggest restrictions since the first COVID-19 lockdown have been announced in response, significantly cutting the maximum number of people able to gather legally.

Changes have been made to England’s quarantine system too, so now islands can be treated separately from whole countries.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement on Monday, and at the same time added seven Greek islands popular with sun-seeking Britons to the quarantine list.