Portugal has been added to England’s quarantine list after a consistent rise in new cases, transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.
From four o’clock on Saturday morning, travellers from mainland Portugal, Hungary, French Polynesia and Reunion will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
In a tweet 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.”
He confirmed that Sweden had been removed from the quarantine list so travellers arriving in England will no longer need to self-isolate.
Portugal currently has 51.3 cases per 100,000 according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Hungary has 45.3 cases, just ahead of the UK’s 39.6.
Data shows there has been a consistent increase in newly reported cases in Portugal over the past three weeks, with an 81 per cent increase over the past week.
Data from Hungary shows a 192 per cent increase in newly reported cases over the past week, while there has been a 77 per cent rise in French Polynesia.
The number of cases in the UK have been creeping up in recent weeks following a spike among young people. In response, Boris Johnson announced gatherings of more than six people in public or in private will be banned from Monday.
Shapps said all travellers returning to the UK must complete a Passenger Location Form by law. He said this was “vital in protecting public health and ensuring those who need to are complying with self-isolation rules.”
The travel industry has slammed the government for its handling of the pandemic and subsequent quarantine rules. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary described the restrictions as “bizarre” and lacking in “common sense”.
This week health secretary Matt Hancock said the government was working on ways to reduce the 14-day quarantine period.
Speaking to LBC on Monday he confirmed that ministers were looking at ways to test “new arrivals in the UK “as soon as is practical”.