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Britons blast ANOTHER travel quarantine as they face dash to return home from Portugal

Tens of thousands of British holidaymakers are facing a race to escape Portugal after the country was returned to the quarantine list.

The move will trigger another day of chaos as they rush to get home before the restrictions kick in at 4am tomorrow.

The cost of flights home soared to £600 within minutes of last night’s announcement, and British Airways laid on an extra service from Faro on the Algarve. 

Many of the 35,000 Britons currently in Portugal will have no choice but to carry on with their holidays and self-isolate for 14 days on their return. Some may have to take unpaid sick leave and university students could miss the start of term.

The decision was taken after the number of cases in Portugal over seven days jumped to 28.3 per 100,000 people yesterday, over the Government’s threshold of 20.

The new restrictions do not apply to the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores, where infection rates are lower than on the mainland. 

Portugal and Hungary have today been removed from the quarantine exemption list, meaning holidaymakers must rush home or face a two-week quarantine. Pictured: The Algarve

Portugal and Hungary have today been removed from the quarantine exemption list, meaning holidaymakers must rush home or face a two-week quarantine. Pictured: The Algarve

Those arriving in England from two further countries must also now self-isolate for 14-days from 4am on Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. Pictured: Budapest

Those arriving in England from two further countries must also now self-isolate for 14-days from 4am on Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. Pictured: Budapest 

Meanwhile, Sweden, which did not impose a compulsory lockdown and chose a ‘herd immunity’ approach to tackling coronavirus, was removed from the UK’s quarantine list after its infection rate fell. 

Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion have also been added to Britain’s ‘red’ list of territories subject to quarantine.

Scotland and Wales had already added Portugal and French Polynesia to their quarantine list, but other changes announced yesterday apply to all four parts of the UK. Industry leaders told of their dismay at the latest decision, which comes three weeks after Portugal was removed from the quarantine list.

Travel consultant Paul Charles said: ‘The weekly review needs to be changed. They need to move the system to a traffic light system so that consumers are clearly-informed about ministers’ intentions and which countries are at risk. It would enable them to book trips with more certainty.’

It came as Home Office figures revealed officials have only managed to fine 34 people for breaching quarantine since the rules were introduced in June – despite the fact that two million people have arrived in the country since then. 

Public Health England said it had made or sent 149,579 calls or text messages to passengers to check they were self-isolating at home. Some 64,800 people had confirmed they were self-isolating.

Portugal has seen a steady rise in cases since it was removed from the quarantine list three weeks ago, now reporting a total of 1,852 deaths amid 62,126 confirmed infections. 

It saw 646 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, the nation’s highest figure since April.         

Wales and Scotland had already imposed their own self-isolation rules on Portugal, with Nicola Sturgeon also recently mandating 14-day isolation for arrivals from Greece and Wales adding six Greek islands to its list.

Downing Street’s switch-up of the quarantine exemption list comes after Mr Shapps last week insisted there would be no changes to English travel corridors.   

Sources told MailOnline at the time that although Portugal was above the ‘trigger’ threshold for cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, that appeared to be because they were carrying out more tests.








Portugal has seen a steady rise in cases since it was removed from the quarantine list on August 22, now reporting a total of 1,852 deaths amid 62,126 confirmed infections. Pictured: Arrivals at Heathrow

Portugal has seen a steady rise in cases since it was removed from the quarantine list on August 22, now reporting a total of 1,852 deaths amid 62,126 confirmed infections. Pictured: Arrivals at Heathrow

A travel corridor between Portugal and the UK had only been opened a few weeks ago, but the popular holiday destination has now been removed after a rise in coronavirus cases

A travel corridor between Portugal and the UK had only been opened a few weeks ago, but the popular holiday destination has now been removed after a rise in coronavirus cases

The Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores are exempt from the new rule, which also imposes two-week quarantines for those arriving in England from Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion

The Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores are exempt from the new rule, which also imposes two-week quarantines for those arriving in England from Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion

Just 34 fines issued for travel quarantine breaches, new figures show 

A total of 34 fines have been issued to travellers for breaching quarantine rules after arriving in the UK, new figures reveal.

Police forces have handed out 20 fixed penalty notices in England, while the Border Force has given out 14 across the UK up to September 7, according to the data released by the Home Office on Thursday.

The 14-day self-isolation policy for UK arrivals was introduced on June 8 for people returning to or visiting the UK from countries not on the exemption list.

In England, people can be fined £1,000 for failing to self-isolate and up to £3,200 for not providing accurate contact details.

Figures show 1,966,394 spot checks have been carried out on passengers to ensure they have filled out passenger locator forms, including contact details, passport number and address while in the country.

Public Health England (PHE) carries out further compliance checks on a random sample of travellers, resident in England and Northern Ireland, to check they are self-isolating.

The service has made a total of 149,579 calls and text messages – each person can be called up to three times on subsequent days and sent a text.

Successful contact, where the traveller has been spoken to or responded to a text, was made 66,773 times with 64,800 people confirming they were self-isolating.

‘The rate of positives per test has actually gone down,’ one senior source said.

The Government also announced yesterday that Sweden has been added to the ‘safe’ travel list.

The new air bridge will come into force at 4am on September 12 after the Scandinavian nation saw a drop in cases – despite not enforcing a lockdown. 

Stockholm’s strategy of ‘herd immunity’ – once backed by Downing Street – to allow the disease to spread through the population, was criticised as reckless but new data increasingly vindicates the decision.

Sweden currently has 13 patients in intensive care, by comparison the United Kingdom has 843 patients in hospital, 80 of them on ventilators.

Furthermore, Sweden has had an average of just one death per day for the last 10, compared to 9.3 fatalities each day in the UK over the same period.

Announcing the changes on Twitter today, Mr Shapps said: ‘Data shows we need to remove PORTUGAL (minus the AZORES and MADEIRA), HUNGARY, FRENCH POLYNESIA and REUNION from the Travel Corridor list to keep everyone safe. 

‘If you arrive in England from these destinations after 4am Saturday, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.  

‘Through enhanced data we now have the capability to assess islands separate to their mainland countries. If you arrive in England from the AZORES or MADEIRA, you will NOT need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

‘This week, SWEDEN has been ADDED to the Travel Corridors list. If you arrive In England from Sweden, you will NOT need to self-isolate for 14 days.’  

Mr Shapps added that all travellers returning to the UK must now complete a Passenger Locator Form to ‘protect public health’ and ensure self-isolation rules. 

‘It is a criminal offence not to complete the form and spot checks will be taking place,’ he said.  

It comes after the Portuguese government today agreed tougher infection control restrictions against the coronavirus ahead of the start of the school year. 

Ministers agreed on new rules which will come into force next week, including limiting gatherings to 10 people rather than 20 previously – a cap already in force in the capital Lisbon since late June.

Downing Street also announced yesterday that Sweden has been added to the travel corridors list, after its seven-day case rate fell to 11.6 per 100,000 people. Pictured: Stockholm

Downing Street also announced yesterday that Sweden has been added to the travel corridors list, after its seven-day case rate fell to 11.6 per 100,000 people. Pictured: Stockholm

Sales of alcohol will also be banned from 8pm onwards alongside drinking in public places. Meanwhile, sporting venues will remain closed to fans ahead of the football championship kicking off next week.

‘We’ve been seeing a sustained rise in the number of new cases since the beginning of August,’ Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.

But most new cases were among asymptomatic people aged 20 to 39, Costa added.

He urged companies to allow for remote working or other infection control moves wherever possible. 

Destinations with no self-quarantine requirement on arrival in England, Scotland and Wales

Countries, territories and regions with no self-isolation requirement on arrival in England:    

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Azores
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • Cuba 
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland 
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece (except the islands of Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos – if you arrive in England from any of these islands after 4am 9 September 2020 you will need to self-isolate)
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong 
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Madeira
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Poland  
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sweden 
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

Countries, territories and regions with no self-isolation requirement on arrival in Scotland:    

    • Antigua and Barbuda 
    • Australia 
    • ​​​Barbados 
    • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Brunei 
    • Cuba 
    • Curaçao 
    • Cyprus 
    • ​​​​​Denmark 
    • Dominica
    • Estonia
    • ​​​​Faroe Islands 
    • Fiji 
    • Finland  
    • Germany 
    • Greenland 
    • Grenada 
    • Guadeloupe
    • ​​Hong Kong 
    • Hungary 
    • Iceland
    • Italy 
    • Japan 
    • Latvia
    • Liechtenstein 
    • Lithuania
    • ​​Macau 
    • Malaysia 
    • Mauritius 
    • New Caledonia 
    • New Zealand 
    • Norway 
    • Poland  
    • Réunion 
    • San Marino 
    • Seychelles 
    • Slovakia 
    • Slovenia 
    • St Barthélemy 
    • St Kitts & Nevis  
    • St Lucia 
    • St Pierre and Miquelon 
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines 
    • South Korea 
    • Taiwan 
    • Turkey 
    • Vatican City State 
    • Vietnam 

    Countries, territories and regions with no self-isolation requirement on arrival in Wales:   

    • Akrotiri and Dhekelia 
    • Anguilla
    • Antigua and Barbuda 
    • Australia 
    • Barbados 
    • Bermuda
    • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
    • British Antarctic Territory
    • British Indian Ocean Territory
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Brunei 
    • Cayman Islands
    • Channel Islands 
    • Cuba 
    • Curaçao
    • Cyprus 
    • Denmark
    • Dominica
    • Estonia 
    • Falkland Islands
    • Faroe Islands
    • Fiji
    • Finland 
    • Germany 
    • Greece  
    • Greenland
    • Grenada
    • Guadeloupe
    • Hong Kong
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • the Isle of Man
    • Italy 
    • Japan
    • Latvia 
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania 
    • Macao (Macau)
    • Malaysia  
    • Mauritius 
    • Montserrat 
    • New Caledonia
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
    • Poland 
    • Reunion
    • San Marino 
    • Seychelles
    • Singapore 
    • Slovakia 
    • Slovenia 
    • South Korea
    • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 
    • St Barthélemy
    • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Pierre and Miquelon
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines 
    • Taiwan  
    • Turkey  
    • Vatican City State
    • Vietnam

     

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