Portugal escapes quarantine list

75,000 tourists, including those in Madeira, unexpectedly escape quarantine on return to UK

Quarantine upon arrival

According to the latest official announcements this evening, Portugal, including Madeira, will surprisingly not be added to the UK government’s quarantine list despite a rise in cases beyond the “official” British threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 population. The announcement was made tonight and is being widely treated with surprise among various news sources.

Britons in Portugal were reported to be anxiously awaiting a decision by the UK government as ministers discussed the travel restrictions.

The decision covers England. Travellers to Wales from Portugal must quarantine.

The nations made different decisions at the weekly point when their quarantine lists are normally updated.

Sky News reports that travellers from Portugal will have to isolate when arriving in Scotland and Wales but not England, sparking confusion. There was speculation about what would happen to Portugal given COVID-19 cases there rose to 23 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to Wednesday – up from 15.3 a week earlier.

The UK government generally says countries where the figure is higher than 20 per 100,000 are at risk of being added to the list.

Areas where anyone arriving in Scotland from must quarantine from 4am on Saturday:

  • Portugal – including the Azores and Madeira islands
  • French Polynesia

Areas where anyone arriving in Wales from must quarantine from 4am on Friday:

  • Portugal – excluding the Azores and Madeira islands
  • Gibraltar
  • French Polynesia
  • Greek islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos, Lesvos, Paros, Antiparos and Crete

Scotland earlier this week added Greece to its quarantine list.

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