Portugal and Mauritius are to be removed from the government’s so-called "red list" of countries from which travel is effectively banned to guard against the import of new Covid-19 variants of concern.
From 4am on Friday (19 March), arrivals into England from Portugal and Mauritius will no longer have to self-isolate in government-appointed hotel quarantine for 10 days.
More than 30 countries were placed on the red list earlier this year owing either to their proximity to countries where new variants of Covid-19 were known to be circulating, or their common travel links with these countries.
In Portugal’s case, it was due to the Manaus, or Brazilian, variant of Covid-19, and Mauritius, a South African variant.
Both variants have been detected in the UK, with the government deploying local surge testing to identify new infections caused by a variant and break chains of transmission.