Portugal has questioned the UK’s decision to remove it from the travel green list from Tuesday next week.
The move down to the amber list means UK tourists should not visit the country – and anyone returning will need to isolate for 10 days.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps put it down to rising cases and a specific Covid variant found in Portugal, saying the government wanted to minimise risks before the planned final easing of England’s restrictions in just over two weeks, but Portugal said it could not understand the “logic” of the move.
Portugal’s foreign affairs minister said:
“Portugal continues to carry out its easing restrictions plan, with clear rules for the safety of those who live here and those who visit us.”
In the first review of England’s traffic light list for international travel, no new destinations were added to the green list, where travellers must be tested – but do not have to quarantine on their return.
An additional seven countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad & Tobago are joining the red list. Current government guidelines says travellers should not travel to countries on the amber or red list.
The travel industry has criticised the change, saying it will threaten jobs and consumer confidence, with travel commentators predicting “another lost summer” as the green list won’t be reviewed or updated until the end of June.