PORTUGAL is at risk of being added back on to the UK’s quarantine list due to a rise in Covid-19 cases – less than two weeks after it was announced safe by Downing Street.
There were 21.1 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Portugal in the seven days to August 30, up from 19.4 in the seven days to August 29.
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A seven-day rate of 20 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people is the threshold above which the UK Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.
Searches for flights to Portugal soared after the country was removed from the UK’s quarantine list just over a week ago.
Passengers arriving in the UK from Portugal no longer had to self-isolate from 4am on Saturday August 22 after an approved travel corridor was confirmed.
Google search data showed a significant spike in searches for the term “flights to Portugal” by users in the UK at around 6pm on Thursday August 20, the day the news about Portugal was announced.
A number of easyJet flights from London airports to destinations across Portugal on the weekend of Saturday August 22 were already unavailable on the Friday.
Jet2 was among the airlines aiming to capitalise on the rush, adding extra seats to Faro from Monday August 24 from across the UK.
Travellers returning from Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic were the latest to be told they must quarantine for 14 days if they were arriving in the UK after 4am on Saturday following spikes in coronavirus infection rates.
Paul Charles, the spokesperson for the Quash Quarantine group, said the current infection rate means the country could be taken off the Government’s travel corridor in the coming days.
He told the Daily Mail: “It will need to see a miracle drop in case numbers by Thursday to avoid being added again to the Government’s on-off quarantine list as it is quickly veering into the red zone.”
Portugal was left off England’s holiday quarantine-free list when the full list of air bridge destinations was first announced.
It is understood the government’s decision not to initially include Portugal on the list was down to a spike in coronavirus cases in the capital Lisbon.
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More than a third of hotels in the Algarve opened their doors as far back as June, with 75 per cent expected to be open by now along with beaches.
Restaurants and cafes are also open, but with strict social distancing guidelines.
Cinemas and theatres opened again on June 1.
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