Portugal holidays: FCDO issues new quarantine update after nation removed from ‘red list’

Portugal to be removed from UK's quarantine red list

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Holidays are on hold for now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel with the hope May 17 could be the day some international travel rules end. Now, it seems Portugal could be back on the list of potential destinations for Britons seeking sunshine.

The nation was previously placed on the UK’s “red list” due to concerns over the spread of Covid variants.

This meant not only were direct flights suspended, but arrivals were also forced to quarantine in a Government approved hotel for 10 days upon arrival.

Last night, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced this would no longer be the case.

Following his announcement, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice page for those who may be looking to travel to Portugal.

Though leisure travel is currently banned under lockdown rules, there are some “essential” reasons why Britons can jet off abroad.

In a new update, the FCDO explains: “If you are arriving in England from Portugal (including the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores) on or after 4am on 19 March you will no longer be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.

“However, you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption.”

Despite the change in quarantine rules, it does not seem as though direct flights have been resumed just yet.

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The FCDO continues: “Flights between the UK and Portugal (including the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores) are currently suspended.

“UK nationals in Portugal who wish to return to the UK will have to travel via other airports.

“Check available routes online with travel companies or by contacting the airlines.”

According to the interior ministry, Portugal has extended its flight ban on UK travel for a further two weeks until March 31.

Only humanitarian and repatriation flights will be permitted.

Britons looking to enter Portugal may also only do so if they meet a specific list of requirements set out by the Portuguese authorities.

The FCDO states: “Travel to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, is limited to: EU/EEA nationals and their family members; UK and other non-EU/EEA nationals who are officially resident in Portugal or another EU member state; UK and other third-country nationals who are travelling for essential purposes, such as to live with immediate family members, or for professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.”

Those who are looking to travel to Portugal as a resident are advised to ensure they have valid evidence of their “residence status”.

These may be requested by the airline or immigration officers upon arrival.

The FCDO adds: “If you are travelling to Portugal for essential purposes, be prepared to show evidence to support your reason for travel, to your airline and to the immigration officer on arrival.”

Travellers will be required to present a negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of departure.

“All passengers travelling to Portugal will be subject to health screening on arrival,” adds the FCDO.

“Your temperature will be checked and if it is 38ºc or over or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities at the airport.

“You may be required to take a further RT-PCR COVID-19 test and remain at the airport until you receive your test result.”

Portugal, which has so far reported 814,257 COVID-19 cases and 16,684 deaths, began easing a two-month nationwide lockdown on Monday.

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