Portugal to come off UK's virus travel ban 'red list' on Monday

Portugal to come off UK's virus travel ban 'red list' on Monday

March 13, 2021

Portugal will be taken off UK’s virus travel ban ‘red list’ on Monday as the country aims to reopen to Britons who can show proof of vaccination or a negative test from mid-May

  • Portugal is set to be taken off the list of 33 Covid-hotspot countries on Monday 
  • Britons will be able to travel to the holiday destination and not quarantine 
  • It was placed on Britain’s red list due to its historic Brazil links and its virus strain

Portugal is set to be removed from the travel ban ‘red list’, paving the way for summer holidays there.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will take the country off the list of 33 Covid-hotspot countries on Monday, it is understood.

It means the ban on direct flights into the UK will be lifted and arrivals from Portugal will not have to go into quarantine at hotels for 11 days upon landing.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is believed to be preparing to take Portugal off the list of 33 Covid-hotspot countries on Monday

The country has 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.

Portugal was placed on Britain’s red list due to its historic links with Brazil, where a feared new strain of Covid was discovered.

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However, Britons will be 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.

It comes as US President Joe Biden said he hoped Americans would be able to celebrate freedom from the virus on Independence Day on July 4. 

Addressing the nation, he promised to make all adults eligible for jabs by May 1, regardless of age.

Mass travel on transatlantic routes has ground to a halt over the last 12 months after the US closed its borders. 

But the rapidly-expanding pace of vaccination programmes in both countries means travel between the UK and the US could resume this summer.

Travel consultant Paul Charles, of the PC Agency, said: ‘The USA is making huge strides. A July 1 reopening of borders, with test measures, is currently very realistic.’

Although Whitehall sources indicated talks with the US were continuing, they said it was too early to predict when travel would resume.

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