Portugal taken OFF England's travel ban red list but Qatar is added

Portugal is taken OFF England’s travel ban red list but Qatar is added, Government announces

  • Portugal was placed on Britain’s red list over historic Brazil links and virus strain
  • Travel to the 33 countries mostly in South America and Africa were banned
  • Department of Transport has said Portugal and Mauritius will be taken list
  • However, four countries – Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar – will now be added

Portugal and Mauritius have been taken off the government’s red list in the first change to travel rules for months.

This means people will be able to travel from the two countries – as well as the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores – to England, the Department for Transport said.

However, four more countries – Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar – will now be added to the government’s banned list. 

Quarantine restrictions for travellers from Portugal and Mauritius will be relaxed, with people allowed to travel to their own home for the 10-day isolation period rather than spending it in a government-approved hotel.

They will also still have to take a Covid test on their second and eighth days to end self-isolation early.

The Department for Transport said: ‘Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from England’s red list.

‘The flight and maritime ban from Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) will also be removed, following evidence that shows the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced.

‘Portugal has put steps in place to mitigate the risk from its links with countries where variants have become a concern, and now has genomic surveillance in place.’

The changes to restrictions will all come into effect from 4am this Friday.

They only relate to England, as Scotland has its own policy of hotel quarantine for all arrivals and there are no international flights going in and out of Wales.

And Britons are are still unable to go there for holidays until at least May 17 – the earliest international travel can get underway under the Government’s official roadmap for lifting lockdown. 

Portugal had been the only European country on the red list of 33 nations due to its historic links to Brazil, where a new variant of coronavirus was discovered in January.

The country has however already said it aims to reopen to Britons who can show proof of vaccination or a negative test from mid-May.

Greece, Spain and Cyprus have signalled they will be doing the same.

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