PORTUGAL has been REMOVED from the UK’s “red list” which banned all travel to the country – in a huge boost for summer holidays later this year.
Travel to the country has been prohibited over Covid variants, and returning Brits were forced to pay £1,750 to quarantine for 10 days at a quarantine hotel.
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Portugal, the only country in Europe to have been on it, has now been taken off – giving Brits hope of a summer holiday later this year.
This means travel will not be banned and anyone returning from the country can instead quarantine for 10 days at their own home.
It was originally placed onto the red list due to the risk of new variants, in particular the Brazil variant due to its connecting flights to the country.
Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, previously said the country wants to welcome back Brits from May 17.
She told the BBC: “I do believe that Portugal will soon allow restriction-free travel, not only for vaccinated people, but those who are immune or who test negative.”
And she insisted that “everything will be ready by mid-May” because the pandemic situation in the country is “stable”.
However, during England’s lockdown it’s still illegal to go on holiday at the moment.
Holidays in the UK can start again from May 17 – with hotels and bed and breakfasts opening once again.
It’s not yet known when ministers will open up international travel, but a decision is expected before April 12.
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Portugal has reported 814,257 cases of Covid since the pandemic started with daily new cases hitting 16,000 back in January.
However, new infection rates have dropped below 1,000 per day since the beginning of March.
The country has gradually begun to ease restrictions following the dramatic fall in cases, with secondary schools, cinemas, theatres and shopping centres opening on April 19.
From May 3, the government will allow restaurants to open fully and large indoor and outdoor events to be held, some seven weeks before the UK.
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The honeymoon island of Mauritius is also being taken off the list.
Other countries on the UK’s high risk list include the UAE, which also includes Dubai following a number of influencers and Brits flocked to the destination.
Greece hopes to welcome Brits back from May 14 with vaccine passports allowing travellers to skip negative Covid tests and quarantine restrictions.
Spain and Cyprus have echoed similar schemes, while Turkey wants Brits back even without vaccine passports.
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