Portugal Imposes Quarantine Restrictions on UK Travellers
Portugal has emerged in recent days as the epicentre of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus in Europe as cases of the variant surge across the country.
With the Delta variant now accounting for approximately 51% of all new cases in Portugal, measures are being introduced to the stop the spread of the variant.
New cases have been rising steadily in Portugal over the last weeks and almost 1,500 new cases were recorded yesterday.
Latest figures from Portugal’s National Institute of Health, show an accumulated 142 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 over the last 14 days. All regions across Portugal are reporting increases in cases with the largest increases being reported in Lisbon, and across the Vale do Tejo and Algarve regions.
From today Portugal has imposed a U-turn on its previous decision to allow British tourists to enter the country without quarantine restrictions. The new quarantine restriction is set to remain in place until July 11th.
Those travelling from the UK to Portugal will now have to undertake 14-days quarantine unless they can provide proof that they have received two Covid-19 vaccines at least two weeks prior to their arrival into the country.
Portugal reopened its borders for non-essential travel to those coming from across the European Union, along with travellers from the UK and other non-EU Schengen area countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland on May 17th.
The decision meant that those travelling from the UK were required to provide a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to their arrival into the country.
At that time, both Portugal and the UK were enjoying the lowest Covid rates in Europe.
Meanwhile in the UK, latest figures from Public Health England show a weekly rise of 35,204 in cases of the Delta, representing a 46% increase. The Delta variant now accounts for approximately 95% of cases that are sequenced across the UK.
In addition to introducing new restrictions on international travelers, Portugal has also tightened domestic restrictions, with a travel ban between Lisbon and the rest of the country imposed last week. The county’s Health Minister, Marta Temido, has said further restrictions may be necessary.
In response to the spike in the Delta variant in the UK, it has been reported that Germany’s Angela Merkel is attempting to impose a ban on all UK travelers to the EU. According to The Times newspaper, Chancellor Merkel wishes to designate the UK ‘a country of concern’ due to the high levels of the Delta Variant.
The Chancellor is due to meet with British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in England on Friday.