Fears growing that Portugal may be taken off quarantine list too late

Fears are growing that any decision to take Portugal off the Government’s quarantine list will come too late for most families’ summer holidays.

At present, all travellers to Portugal have to self-isolate for 14 days on return, following restrictions imposed when coronavirus cases began to surge.

The number of cases has recently started to fall, leading to hopes the restrictions would soon be lifted.

Beachgoers crowd Praia da Duquesa, a favorite spot for tourists, on a hot Sunday afternoon during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in Cascais, Portugal

Beachgoers crowd Praia da Duquesa, a favorite spot for tourists, on a hot Sunday afternoon during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in Cascais, Portugal

Beachgoers crowd Praia da Duquesa, a favorite spot for tourists, on a hot Sunday afternoon during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in Cascais, Portugal

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks on the promenade in Praia da Duquesa, in Cascais, Portugal

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks on the promenade in Praia da Duquesa, in Cascais, Portugal

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks on the promenade in Praia da Duquesa, in Cascais, Portugal

Locals and tourists sit at outside tables of a restaurant as local and foreign tourism slowly picks up

Locals and tourists sit at outside tables of a restaurant as local and foreign tourism slowly picks up

Locals and tourists sit at outside tables of a restaurant as local and foreign tourism slowly picks up 

But it is understood that Government officials will want to ensure the fall is sustained before they end the quarantine requirement.

A possible decision comes as Jersey increased restriction on France – which could soon be added to Britain’s quarantine list – this weekend. 

An announcement on Portugal is unlikely to be made this week and could even be delayed until the final week of August – only days before schools return.

Paul Charles, of PC Agency, which advises hotels and airlines, said: ‘Portugal could be removed from the list but it is not looking like it will be until the end of August.

‘My understanding is that it would need a sustained reduction in the number of cases for them to do so.

‘This kills the summer season for Portugal, and there is no doubt that 2020 has been the worst season it has had.’

At present, all travellers to Portugal have to self-isolate for 14 days on return, following restrictions imposed when coronavirus cases began to surge.

At present, all travellers to Portugal have to self-isolate for 14 days on return, following restrictions imposed when coronavirus cases began to surge.

At present, all travellers to Portugal have to self-isolate for 14 days on return, following restrictions imposed when coronavirus cases began to surge.

Paddle boarders enjoy the beach as coronavirus cases in Portugal start to fall sparking hopes that the country will be taken off the UK's quarantine list

Paddle boarders enjoy the beach as coronavirus cases in Portugal start to fall sparking hopes that the country will be taken off the UK's quarantine list

Paddle boarders enjoy the beach as coronavirus cases in Portugal start to fall sparking hopes that the country will be taken off the UK’s quarantine list

A Government source said: ‘The process for dropping quarantine is far more gradual than it is for imposing it, so an announcement is not going to come soon.

‘But things do seem to be heading in the right direction in Portugal.’

The Portuguese government has expressed ‘regret’ at the UK’s decision to continue to exclude it from the list of countries that are exempt from quarantine.

‘It is a decision that is neither substantiated nor supported by the facts,’ Portugal’s ministry of state and foreign affairs said last month.

Tourism is a major industry in Portugal and is popular with British holidaymakers, with almost three million UK visitors a year.

Mr Charles warned travellers to France and Malta that quarantine requirements may be imposed at the end of this week, if Covid cases continue to rise there.

‘If France continues to see cases rise at the current rate, the Government will need to add France to the quarantine list,’ he said.

‘France has four days to show it is keeping a lid on its numbers. Malta is also being watched quite closely.’

Fears about Germany and Croatia being added to the list have dissipated following falls in the number of cases there.

‘This is a crucial week for countries to show that they are keeping a lid on this,’ said Mr Charles.

link

(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply