Travel leaders have blasted the government’s decision to remove mainland Portugal from England’s travel corridor list, just a matter of weeks after it was added.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the decision in a tweet shortly before 5pm on Thursday (10 September), with Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion also axed.
The Foreign office is also now advising against all but essential travel to mainland Portugal, and the other three destinations.
It means quarantine-free travel between England and mainland Portugal will end at 4am on Saturday (12 September), consigning thousands of Brits to two weeks’ quarantine upon their return.
Portugal’s islands, Madeira and the Azores, have been excluded from the new quarantine rules and FCDO exemption as a result of the government’s shift to a more regionalised quarantine policy.
The decision on Portugal came, confusingly, a week after Portugal exceeded the government’s usual 20 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over seven days measurement, which it has broadly used to determine which countries are added or removed from the travel corridor list.
The government has not explained why Portugal was given a week’s exemption, other than to say it uses other measurements and information to make its decisions beyond the cases threshold.