United Kingdom

Britons could enjoy a quarantine-free trip to Portugal by end of summer if Covid cases remain low

Portugal may soon be included to the quarantine-free travel list, if coronavirus cases in the country continue to drop.

The holiday destination favourite could be added to the 'safe-list' in weeks meaning British tourists would exempt from the 14-day isolation on their return. 

Ministers are said to be happy that cases in Portugal are now at a safe level but are monitoring the progress in 'weeks' rather than 'days.'

They are reportedly discussing options to add Portugal to the list of 'safe' countries and the change could come into effect by the end of the summer.

Portugal may be included on the 'safe' list for British tourists in weeks if cases remain low

Portugal was excluded from the list of countries that are exempt from quarantine that was published by the UK Government in July.

The list has since been updated but Portugal has continued to be left off the list of 'travel corridors' amid fears at its level of coronavirus infections.

The decision promoted anger from Portuguese officials at the time as Portugal relies heavily on tourism.

Portugal's Ministry of State and Foreign Affairs said: 'It is a decision that is neither substantiated nor supported by the facts.'   

Brits travelling home from Portugal could be exempt from the 14-day isolation by the end of summer

According to The Sun, this decision could be reversed if cases in Portugal remain low for the next few weeks.

However, Whitehall officials reportedly don't want to signal the go-ahead to holidays on the Algarve only to have to swipe them if cases start to rise again.  

A Whitehall source told The Sun: 'Portugal has made a lot of progress but the process of for dropping quarantine is far more gradual, where we monitor progress in weeks rather than days.'  

This will likely delay the green-light being given for another two weeks. 

The Algarve is a popular holiday destination for British tourists and the country is heavily reliant on tourism 

Portugal has had fewer coronavirus cases and deaths than some other south European nations, including neighbouring Spain.  

Spain was pulled from the 'safe-list' two weeks ago and a 14-day quarantine was imposed for anyone arriving from Spain. 

The UK Government announced the last-minute decision, coming into effect overnight, on July 25 in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases.

The decision left an estimated 600,000 British holidaymakers already in Spain or those preparing to fly out 'panicking' about a fortnight-long mandatory quarantine when they return to the UK - leaving some unable to work. 

Ministers are said to be happy that cases in Portugal are now at a safe level but are monitoring the progress in 'weeks' rather than 'days' which could delay the green-light being given for another two weeks

Portugal has had fewer coronavirus cases and deaths than some other south European nations, including neighbouring Spain

People who breach the government's rules can be fined between £100 and £1,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and those returning to Scotland could be fined £480, with fines up to £5,000 for persistent offenders. 

Home Office figures revealed that just nine Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued to nine people breaching foreign arrival quarantine rules so far.

The UK's Border Force issued the notices in relation to their completion of the passenger locator form.

The form allows arrivals from countries deemed high-risk - such as Spain, the US and Mexico - to tell authorities where they will be quarantining and provide contact details.  

Spain was pulled from the 'safe-list' two weeks ago and a 14-day quarantine was imposed for anyone arriving in the UK from Spain, with fears that France could be the next

Meanwhile Belgium, Andorra and The Bahamas were removed from the 'safe' list today and it is feared France could be the next nation to be axed.

The French health authority reported cases of coronavirus are up by a third in the last week. 

New infections are being monitored in France, which has seen a rise in cases recently.  

More than 2,200 confirmed coronavirus infections were recorded yesterday — a new daily record since the lockdown was lifted in June. 

It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned holidaymakers of the risk of travelling saying that ministers 'won’t hesitate' to take drastic action if needed. 

There are 1,585 scheduled flights to France from UK airports up until the end of August, with an estimated 264,000 passengers heading there by air.    

However, five other nations were recently placed on the approved air bridge list on July 28, including; Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Caribbean islands' nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Which destinations are on the UK's quarantine-free travel list?

 You may not have to self-isolate if you are travelling from one of the countries or territories listed below. 

 Akrotiri and Dhekelia


Antigua and Barbuda






Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba

British Antarctic Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

the Channel Islands




Czech Republic



Estonia (added 28 July)

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands




French Polynesia







Hong Kong




the Isle of Man




Latvia (added 28 July)



Macao (Macau)





the Netherlands

New Caledonia

New Zealand


Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands



San Marino


Slovakia (added 28 July) 

Slovenia (added 28 July

South Korea

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

St Barthélemy

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines (added 28 July)



Trinidad and Tobago


Turks and Caicos Islands

Vatican City State


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