A family from Wirral are among the many Brits now racing to get home from Portugal after ministers removed the country from the travel green list.
Portugal will be added to the UK’s amber travel list, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday confirming concerns regarding a new coronavirus mutation and rising cases.
The holiday hotspot, including the islands of Madeira and the Azores, will be removed from the green list that exempts travellers from the need to quarantine on return from 4am on Tuesday.
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People returning to the UK from Portugal will be required to self-isolate at home for 10 days as part of coronavirus restrictions.
No countries have been added to the green list, despite speculation that some Spanish and Greek islands, plus Malta, would be added.
In an interview, Mr Shapps said: “I want to be straight with people, it’s actually a difficult decision to make, but in the end we’ve seen two things really which caused concern.
“One is the positivity rate has nearly doubled since the last review in Portugal and the other is there’s a sort of Nepal mutation of the so-called Indian variant which has been detected and we just don’t know the potential for that to be vaccine-defeating mutation and simply don’t want to take the risk as we come up to June 21 and the review of the fourth stage of the unlock.”
Many holidaymakers in Portugal face a scramble for flights home before the new rules are introduced, including Karen Beddow and her family.
She was staying in the Algarve with her husband, three daughters and parents, but Mrs Beddow will now have to cut her trip short.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said: “We cut our holiday short by two days which I actually feel really annoyed about. Not because of us but because my parents decided to change their flights as well.
“I feel really let down because the whole thing about this green list was to give people certainty. We were told there would be three weeks’ notice.
“Obviously, what they actually mean is three weeks’ notice of countries coming on the list, not coming off. I certainly felt that if we went away we could have two weeks and have a window. If they are going to change flights at will that just feels wrong”