Portugal taken off UK’s green travel list amid rising Covid-19 cases

It will join the amber list, meaning holidaymakers should not visit and returnees must isolate for 10 days.

People at the beach
Holiday bookings are already falling dramatically after Portugal was removed from the UK’s green list of holiday destinations, according to Portugal’s hoteliers association. File photo: Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

PRETORIA, June 4 (ANA) – Portugal will be removed from the UK’s green travel list from Tuesday amid rising Covid-19 cases and concern over the ’Nepal mutation’ of the Delta variant, first identified in India, the BBC reported on Friday.

It will join the amber list, meaning holidaymakers should not visit and returnees must isolate for 10 days, the British broadcaster wrote.

It said seven countries, namely Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago, were also added to the red list.

Devolved administrations in the other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have confirmed they will adopt the same changes, the international broadcaster reported.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC that while he appreciated that it was difficult for people, the UK had made so much progress as a country as a result of the vaccine roll-out that ministers needed to adopt a cautious approach to protect the UK from infection from new variants.

Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal’s foreign minister, said that he could not see the logic behind the British decision.

“Portugal continues to carry out its prudent and gradual deconfinement plan, with clear rules for the safety of those who live here and those who visit us,’’ he wrote on Twitter.

The Financial Times quoted Raul Martins, head of Portugal’s hoteliers association, as telling local media that the decision was a heavy blow and that holiday bookings were already falling dramatically.

The UK reports linking a new variant to Nepal infuriated Nepalese health officials, the London-based newspaper added in its report.

“We don’t know what ‘Nepal variant’ is, as we have not detected any such so-called Nepal variant of the coronavirus,” Dr Krishna Prasad Paudel, a spokesperson for the country’s health ministry, told the Kathmandu Post.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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