Seven countries including Egypt and Sri Lanka are to be added to the government’s red list of destinations in what will be just the latest blow to Brits looking to get away for their hols.
There had already been firm indications that Portugal would be moved from green to amber, but the addition of another bunch of countries to the red list is likely to disrupt even more holiday plans.
Another holiday destination joining the red list is Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, and Sudan.
And the news is gloomy across the board, with no countries moving from the amber list to green.
The government’s concern about Portugal – a long-time favourite destination for sun-seeking Brits – comes as Covid rates in the country increase, and there are also worries about the latest Indian coronavirus variant that has been found there.
Other changes to the lists will also have been based on ministers’ worries that those countries are hotspots, with returning travellers likely to pose a high risk of spreading the disease when they get back to the UK.
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The changes to the lists will come in at 4am next Tuesday.
Anyone arriving back in the UK after that point from Portugal will need to self-isolate for 10 days at home and take two post-arrival PCR tests.
People arriving from countries that are on the red list will have to stay in quarantined hotels when they reach the UK.
It all spells more misery for the holiday industry, which has had a torrid time throughout the pandemic.
Families are now likely to start rushing to get refunds from airlines and tour operators for holidays they can no longer now go on.
Shares in companies including EasyJet, TUI, Ryanair, and British Airways owner IAG all plummeted today as news of the additional travel restrictions emerged.
Responding to the news about the country, the account of the cabinet of Portugal's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs tweeted: "We take note of the British decision to remove Portugal from the 'green list' of travel, a decision that to us does not appear logical.
"Portugal continues to carry out its safe and gradual deconfinement plan, with clear rules for the safety of those who live here or visit us."
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