by Namrata Majithia 16th March 2021
Portugal off the UK’s ‘red list’

Portugal will be removed from the “red list” of countries from where travel to England is banned after 04:00 GMT on Friday 19th March, the British Department for Transport has announced.

It means returning travellers from Portugal will be able to quarantine at home in the UK, rather than in a hotel at a cost of £1,750.

Under the current rules, foreign travel from the UK is banned apart from for exceptional reasons.

The earliest date people from England will be able to travel abroad for a holiday is 17 May, when the government hopes to move to step three of its lockdown exit plan.

However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last week warned it was still too early to book foreign summer holidays, saying there were “lots of questions” to answer about “how safe it will be in June to travel”.

The UK’s “red list” is part of travel regulations aimed at stopping Covid variants entering the country.

In a statement, the Department for Transport added that Portugal had been removed from the red list, including Madeira and the Azores, following evidence that showed the risk of importing a variant “had reduced”.

Meanwhile, Portugal has extended until 31 March a ban on commercial or private flights between mainland Portugal and the UK, as part of continued restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Portugal’s government has said that only flights “of a humanitarian nature” are allowed to and from the UK.