Scotland has added Portugal to its quarantine list - here’s what to do if you have a holiday booked

Friday, 4th September 2020, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 4th September 2020, 11:56 am
Portugal is the latest country to be added to Scotland’s quarantine list, after the government decided to remove the country from travel corridor exemptions due to an increase in coronavirus cases (Photo: Shutterstock)

Portugal is the latest country to be added to Scotland’s quarantine list, after the government decided to remove the country from travel corridor exemptions due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

Travellers returning to Scotland from Portugal will have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days, as of 4am on Saturday 5 September.

Why has Portugal been added to the quarantine list?

Portugal has seen a rise in cases of coronavirus infections over the past week.

Scotland’s Justice Minister, Humza Yousaf tweeted: “If arriving into Scotland from Portugal or French Polynesia from 4am Sat (5th Sept) you'll have to self-isolate for 14 days. Gibraltar high up our watch list of countries we are monitoring closely.

“This week's data shows increase in test positivity & cases per 100k in Portugal.”

This comes after Greece was recently added to the country’s quarantine list due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Gov.scot explains the change in travel restrictions “is due to a significant rise in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) being imported into Scotland by people who have been in Greece.”

Wales has also removed Portugal from its travel corridor list, but the country still remains open to travellers without any restrictions on return to England and Northern Ireland.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the travel corridor list will continue to be monitored in England.

On 3 September he tweeted, “We continue to keep the Travel Corridor list under constant review & won't hesitate to remove countries if needed. However, there are no English additions or removals today.

“Nonetheless, holidaymakers are reminded - 14-day quarantine countries can & do change at very short notice.”

What if I have a holiday booked?

Portugal is currently exempt from Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential international travel, but those returning to Scotland from the country on or after 5 September will need to self-isolate on return.

The FCDO explains, “Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, is exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

“If you are travelling to Scotland from mainland Portugal or the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores on or after 4am on 5 September, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return,” adds the FCDO.

Some airlines or travel companies may have changed their upcoming flights or holiday bookings to and from Scotland in response to the update, so it’s worth checking directly with your travel operator to see if anything has changed.

What are the entry requirements for Portugal?

Travel to Portugal is subject to entry requirements, which are:

  • On arrival in mainland Portugal you will be subject to health screening
  • If travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores, you must take a COVID-19 test before you travel or on arrival

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, The Scotsman.