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Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has just confirmed that Portugal will be removed from England’s travel Green List from Tuesday 8th June 2021.
Shapps explained the reasoning for the change was that infection rates in Portugal have doubled and that,
“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 a vaccine defeating mutation.. (we) simply don’t want to take the risk as we come up to 21 June and the review of the fourth stage of the unlock”.
Needless to say, this is going to throw a huge spanner into the travel plans of many people, and cause additional stress on the travel industry. Portugal was already the only large tourism market on the Green List.
The Government is under huge pressure not to extend the domestic ‘opening up’ date of 21st June, so anything that might contribute to a delay was always at risk.
In addition, the following countries have been moved from the Amber List to the Red List, and will now require mandatory hotel quarantine when returning home: Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad & Tobago.
When we wrote about the original announcement of the Green List, we finished the article with the following warning,
“You should also bear in mind that Green List status can be removed at any time, so take that into account if you are planning a trip. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see cases in Portugal rise, for example, given the close links with Brazil.”
In truth, we didn’t expect to see changes this quickly, and it’s a great shame that many peoples’ travel plans have been ruined again.