Portugal holidays: Travel between UK and Portugal banned over Brazil coronavirus mutation | Travel News | Travel
Portugal has become one of the latest nations to face a travel ban due to concerns over the new variant of COVID-19 which has been detected in Brazil. Due to the nations “strong travel links” with South America travel between the UK and Portugal is to be suspended.
In a tweet, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps announced: “Travel from PORTUGAL to the UK will also be suspended given its strong travel links with Brazil – acting as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections.
“However, there is an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal (only), to allow transport of essential goods.”
The new rule does not apply to British and Irish Nationals or third part country nationals who have UK residency rights.
However, they will face strict quarantine rules.
Mr Shapps added: “Passengers returning from these destinations must self-isolate for TEN DAYS along with their households.”
READ MORE: Flights from Brazil to the UK banned amid new variant of coronavirus
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is currently advising against “all but essential travel” to mainland Portugal.
Along with a mandatory quarantine on their retrn back to the UK, Britons will also soon have to provide negative COVID-19 tests.
“From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England, or from 4am on 15 January if you intend to travel to Scotland, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to four days before departure,” explains the FCDO.
“If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
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“All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.”
The latest travel ban comes as concerns mount over a rise in coronavirus cases linked to a new mutation of the virus found in Brazil.
The Brazilian strain of coronavirus is the third mutant strain of the virus. The first came from the UK, and the second from South Africa.
Though it is not yet clear, there are some concerns the new South American strain could be yet more contagious.
It was first detected it Japan after people travelled back from the nation.
However, there have been some criticism of the UK Government for not responding quickly enough to the third new mutation.
This morning, Home Office minister Victoria Atkins told Sky News Boris Johnson’s government had known of the new strain for more than two days.
She said: “Of course, people flying into the UK, whether from South America or elsewhere are required to have a 10-day quarantine period when they land in the UK. That is mandatory.
“In terms of the decision on travel measures, it takes a little bit of time.
“What we need to ensure is that when we make these very, very important decisions that have a huge impact on people’s personal lives, but also businesses, we have got to have a little bit of time to let that bed in.”
Along with Portugal, a number of other countries linked to Brazil and the new strain have had travel bans imposed.
- Cape Verde
- French Guiana