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Portugal and Hungary are taken off quarantine exemption list

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

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.    

A travel corridor between Portugal and the UK had only been opened three 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. 

Both Portugal and Hungary have seen daily cases rise above 20 per 100,000 people, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) over the past week shows.  

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 

Portugal has seen a steady rise in cases since it was removed from the quarantine list on August 22, reporting 1,852 deaths amid 62,126 confirmed infections. 

The nation saw 646 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, its highest figure since April 20.         

Wales and Scotland have 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.

But last week, Mr Shapps said there would be no changes to the English travel corridors – sparking fury from travellers who paid huge prices to return from the holiday destination. 

Sources told MailOnline 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.

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

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

Announcing the change 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. 

Those arriving in England from Portugal and Hungary must now self-isolate for 14-days from 4am on Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. Pictured: Arrivals at Heathrow

Those arriving in England from Portugal and Hungary must now self-isolate for 14-days from 4am on Saturday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. 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

‘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.   

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