Wales and Scotland had already imposed the mandatory two-week self-isolation period on holidaymakers coming back from Portugal earlier this month. Portugal, which is one of the UK’s favourite travel destinations, was given an exemption to the quarantine on August 22. But rising cases of coronavirus means the country had to be removed from the exemption list.
Is the Algarve in mainland Portugal?
The Algarve is the biggest and most tourist-heavy Portuguese region, and it is located on the country’s mainland in the south-west region.
Unfortunately, travellers returning from the Algarve are not exempt from the rules and will have to quarantine for two weeks on return to Britain.
This comes as the country has reported 28.3 infections per 100,000 people, surpassing the 20 per 100,000 threshold the UK uses for measuring travel quarantines.
The Portuguese Government expressed “regret” over the decision to impose a quarantine period on the mainland.
Where in Portugal can you travel to?
As it stands, every region in mainland Portugal is off-limits to travellers who don’t want to quarantine when they get home.
However, quarantine-free travel is still allowed from the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores.
The Portuguese Government said it valued the continued inclusion of the islands on the safe travel list.
Announcing the news, transport secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: “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 on Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
“All travellers returning to the UK must complete a Passenger Locator Form by law.
“This is vital in protecting public health and ensuring those who need to are complying with self-isolation rules.
“It is a criminal offence not to complete the form and spot checks will be taking place.”
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to make sure the Border Force would step up its enforcement of quarantine measures during a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday.
Portugal joins holiday hotspots Spain, France and Croatia on the quarantine list.
Hungary, French Polynesia and the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion have also been removed from the travel corridor list, bringing a blow to the already-struggling travel industry.
A spokesperson for travel association Abta said: “Every country, mainland or island that is taken off the Government’s travel list lessens the ability of travel businesses to operate.
“There are travel agents and tour operators based in every region of the UK who have viable businesses, which are unable to trade because of the measures to control the pandemic, and tens of thousands of livelihoods are at risk until we are able to move beyond widespread travel restrictions.”
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy company The PC Agency, said: “The weekly review system is not helping to revive confidence in travel.
“I urge the Government to adopt a traffic lighting system, along with testing, so that consumers are more clearly informed about countries at risk.
“This would reassure and enable people to book trips with more certainty.”
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