Portugal’s return to quarantine list would cause ‘chaos and hardship’

Air industry chief issues warning

The BBC reports that holidaymakers will face “chaos and hardship” if coronavirus quarantine measures are reintroduced for those arriving to the UK from Portugal, according to a travel industry leader.

As already reported here today Portugal has unfortunately recorded 21.1 virus cases per 100,000 people in the past week – the UK considers imposing 14 days of isolation on travellers when a country’s infection rate exceeds 20 cases per 100,000, over seven days. It was only on August 22 that Portugal was added to the “safe” list.

However, the boss of British Airways’ parent firm said the numbers were “arbitrary”. Writing in the Times, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said the “ever-changing” quarantine requirements meant “the UK has officially hung up the ‘closed’ sign”.

“Another U-turn by the government, adding Portugal to the quarantine list, will cause further chaos and hardship for travellers”, Willie Walsh said. “The government is using arbitrary statistics to effectively ban 160 countries and in the process destroying the economy”.

There were 21.1 cases per 100,000 people in Portugal in the seven days to 30 August, up from 19.4 in the seven days to 29 August.

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