Portugal: Madeira and Azores exempt from quarantine but rules apply – FCO update

Portugal was added to England’s quarantine list, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Wales who removed the destination last week. Other destinations that were also added to the quarantine list were Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion. However, following the government’s new targeted approach to the quarantine list, Madeira and the Azores have remained on the travel corridor list.

Britons abroad in Portugal will be subject to 14 days in quarantine from 4am on Saturday morning.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted the government’s latest update last night.

He said: “Data shows we need to remove PORTUGAL (minus the AZORES and MADEIRA), HUNGARY, FRENCH POLYNESIA and REUNION from the Travel Corridor list to keep everyone safe.

“If you arrive in England from these destinations after 4am Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”

He added: “Through enhanced data we now have the capability to assess islands separate to their mainland countries.

“If you arrive in England from the AZORES or MADEIRA, you will NOT need to self-isolate for 14 days.”

Madeira and the Azores remain exempt from both England and Wales’s quarantine list.

However, Scotland introduced blanket quarantine measures last week which include the islands.

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is advising against all but essential travel to Portugal.

“The autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores, are exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel,” it added.

“This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Although this is great news for Britons who are looking for a sunny holiday abroad, there is one rule Britons should be aware of.

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Quarantine rules will still be in place if travellers fly back from the Azores or Madeira via Portugal.

The government says: “You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the travel corridor list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.

“This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.”

Those travelling to or from the Azores and Madeira need to make sure they take direct flights.

However, the government does cite an example whereby you will need to isolate but potentially for less time.

If you are in a country that is not on the travel corridor list such as Portugal and then you travel to a country that is on the list such as Madeira or the Azores and stay there for four days from the day you arrive, then travel to England, you will need to isolate.

But when you get to England, you will need to only isolate for 10 days not 14 because you spend four of the 14 days in a country, territory or region that is on the travel corridor list.

Anyone arriving in the UK from all countries, territories and regions must show proof that they have completed a passenger locator form at the UK border.

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