Holidays cancelled: Portugal added to travel 'amber list' by UK

  • Holidays cancelled: Portugal added to travel 'amber list' by UK

Holidays cancelled: Portugal added to travel 'amber list' by UK

No new destinations will be added to the green list in the government's latest travel update due to concerns about rising Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom, reports suggest.

All changes to the lists will come into effect at 4am on Tuesday 8 June.

Seven countries are also being added to the red list from the amber list.

Possible additions to the red list are also expected on Thursday, with Bahrain, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand among the potential candidates.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the measures are being implemented "to safeguard public health against variants of concern and protect our vaccine rollout".

"After promises that the Global Travel Taskforce would result in a clear framework, removing the damaging flip flopping we all endured last summer, the government decision to move Portugal straight from green to amber will do untold damage to customer confidence", he said.

"What has made the decision to some extent is that Portugal now also has the Delta variant".

While we are making great progress in the United Kingdom with the vaccine rollout, we continue to say that the public should not travel to destinations outside the green list.

Yet the most recent data suggests that the replacement of Portugal with an alternative popular holiday destination is unlikely in the short term, with no country meeting the bar for the green list seemingly set by the country.

Almost 20% of Portugal's population has been fully vaccinated and cases are relatively low but have been increasing over the past week.

Those returning from amber countries must also book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel tests for when they return to the United Kingdom; only the day 2 test is required for those returning from green countries.

Those returning from green locations are not required to self-isolate but they must take one post-arrival coronavirus test.

As global travel reopens safely, the government will maintain 100% health checks at the border.

Red list arrivals must quarantine in government-approved accommodation for 10 days.

"Labour has warned time and time again that this is leaving the door wide open to new strains of the virus".

Passengers flying to Portugal on 17 May, when it was on the "green list". The "Amber List" itself should be scrapped.

"However, it's worth keeping in mind that if the country you are travelling to goes from the green list to an amber or red list and you decide not to travel, your insurer will not cover the cancellation of your holiday".

Meanwhile, in a tweet, the Portuguese foreign ministry said it could not understand the "logic" behind the UK Government's decision to move Portugal to the amber list.

The lists are to be updated every three weeks.

Lockdown restrictions are easing across the United Kingdom but the Indian variant, also called the Delta variant, has caused concern.

"Caution is the name of the game for the British government, but it's a hand dealt as a bitter blow to the travel industry", Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, said: "This is yet more evidence of the unsafe impact of Conservative chaos over travel planning", he said.

"We're going to try to allow people to travel, as I know that many people want to, but we've got to be cautious and we've got to continue to put countries on the red list, on the amber list, when that is necessary".

"Our airlines need this summer season if they are to survive".

A number of changes to worldwide country travel lists have been announced following the first detailed review by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC).

Earlier in the day, health secretary Matt Hancock appeared to hint at the green list decision as he said: "We do have to be careful about global travel".

"You've got to wait and see what the JBC says and what the recommendations are about travel", Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

It is feared that Portugal may be moved to the amber list after scientists alerted ministers to a new "Nepal variant" of Covid-19, which is thought to have spread into some European countries.