Portugal Imposes 14-Day Quarantine on Unvaccinated Brits

Portugal Imposes 14-Day Quarantine on Unvaccinated Brits
A passenger arrives at Faro airport in Algarve, southern Portugal, on May 17, 2021. (Patririca De Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images)
Simon Veazey

Only fully-vaccinated Brits can now visit mainland Portugal without undergoing a 14-day quarantine.

Visitors from the UK could previously avoid the mandatory 14-day isolation if they had evidence of a recent negative test for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

The new rules come into effect today to try to stem any influx of the so-called Delta variant from the UK, where cases have risen rapidly, according to official figures. The variant now accounts for more than half of all infections in the country.

Tougher rules are also being announced for the Balearic Islands, another popular holiday destination for Brits.

The tough stance taken by Portugal puts UK holidaymakers in the same risk category as those from South Africa, Brazil, India, and Nepal.

Travellers from Portugal to the UK must quarantine for 10 days on arrival, after the government took the country off the green list. 

Children under 12 will also be permitted if they are accompanying parents or guardians who have had both vaccine doses.

Those aged between five and 11 must also show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours.

Malta has also announced that only fully-vaccinated travellers will be allowed to enter the country from the UK, starting Wednesday—the same day that the UK will drop the quarantine requirement for Malta.

The Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza and Mallorca, are also tightening restrictions.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told radio network Cadena SER that UK travellers who are not fully vaccinated must have taken a recent negative PCR test.

Those changes will also coincide with the UK lifting its restrictions on returning travellers from the Balearic Islands when they are added to the UK’s green list on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, travel stocks this morning wobbled after a report in The Times of London suggested that German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the EU to designate the UK a “country of concern” due to the presence of the Delta variant, which originated in India.

Such a designation would mean that all Brits—including those who have had vaccines—would be blocked from holidaying in the European Union.

Cases of the CCP virus have been rising in recent weeks in the UK, prompting the government to backpedal on its promise to lift all restrictions on June 21. However, deaths and hospitalisations have not been rising at anything like the same rate as during previous upticks in the pandemic.

The UK has a “traffic light” system for arrivals from other countries.

Only 12 countries currently belong to the “green list,” which means arrivals are not required to quarantine, only to provide proof of a negative test before departure and two days after arrival. Passengers from “amber list” countries must quarantine for 10 days, unless they pay for a test on day five, which turns out negative.

Passengers from “red list” countries must be British nationals or residents.

PA contributed to this report.
Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on various beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.
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