Portugal could be added to UK quarantine list, holidaymakers rush home

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Quarantine measures could be reimposed on British holidaymakers returning from Portugal due to an increase in Covid-19 cases.There were 21.1 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants in Portugal in the seven days to August 30, compared to 19.4 in the seven days to August 29.

A 20 days a week rate is the threshold above which the UK government plans to trigger quarantine conditions.

Searches for flights to Portugal have skyrocketed after the country was removed from the UK’s quarantine list less than a fortnight ago.

Now British holidaymakers are rushing to book early flights home with direct flights from Faro to London – starting at £ 250 – going fast, according to the Daily Mail.

Passengers arriving in the UK from Portugal no longer had to self-isolate from 4 a.m. on Saturday 22 August after confirmation of an approved travel lane.

A decision to add Portugal to the quarantine list could be made on Thursday as part of the weekly travel review.

In the Times, Willie Walsh, managing director of International Airlines Group, said: “Another government turnaround, adding Portugal to the quarantine list, will cause even more chaos and hardship for travelers.”

He said the “ever-changing list” of countries in need of quarantine means “the UK has officially suspended the” Closed “sign.

Mr Walsh said: “The government is using arbitrary statistics to effectively ban 160 countries and in so doing destroy the economy.

“The government must introduce a testing regime to restore confidence.”

Google search data showed a significant spike in searches for the term “flights to Portugal” by users in the UK at around 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, the day the quarantine was announced.

A number of easyJet flights from London airports to destinations across Portugal on the weekend of Saturday 22 August were already unavailable on Friday.

Jet2 was among the airlines keen to take advantage of the rush, adding additional seats in Faro from Monday August 24th from across the UK.

Travelers returning from Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic were the latest to be told they must be quarantined for 14 days if they arrive in the UK after 4 a.m. on Saturday following spikes coronavirus infection rates.

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