PORTUGAL has carried out its threat to make Brits who travel to Portugal self-isolate for 14 days from today unless they can show they are fully vaccinated.
The new rules were announced yesterday and came into effect nearly three weeks after the UK’s decision to kick the country off its green list which led to thousands of people cutting short their holidays so they could beat a new quarantine deadline.
Angela Merkel had been pushing to impose a European Union-wide quarantine on British tourists, including those who have been double-jabbed.
Portugal’s move, which follows its PM Antonio Costa’s admission last week the country would follow the EU lead if a common decision was taken, goes part of the way to meeting the German leader’s demand.
Anyone travelling to Portugal from the UK by land, sea or air will have to show they have received their second jab at least a fortnight earlier or self-isolate. The new rules will last until at least July 11.
Britain joins the likes of South Africa, Brasil, India and Nepal, who were already on Portugal’s quarantine list of countries.
Mr Costa was forced to address Merkel’s quarantine demand when he arrived for an EU summit last Thursday after she singled Portugal out for criticism by claiming it had helped the spread of the Delta variant of coronavirus by being too permissive with British tourists.
Asked if quarantine would be imposed on all UK holidaymakers, he told a Portuguese journalist: “We are going to discuss in the Council what decisions are to be taken regarding the entry control of people from third countries, namely the United Kingdom. Portugal has followed the doctrine of practicing what is agreed at the European level.
“Furthermore, as we currently hold the presidency of the council of the European Union, it would be particularly bad for us not to follow what is agreed at European level.”
When pressed on whether Portugal would consider making Brits quarantine, he added: “If that was the wish of the Council, yes. The United Kingdom shouldn’t have any different treatment.”
Neighbour Spain continues to welcome British tourists with no test or quarantine requirements, despite most of the country being on the UK amber list.
The Balearic Islands, which include Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca, move to green on Wednesday.
Island politicians have been urging the Spanish government to push for more tests “in origin” before UK tourists are allowed in, but nothing has so far been announced.
Spain opened up to British tourists at the end of May despite France and Germany unveiling tougher rules.
At the time Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez extended his own personal invite to holidaymakers from the UK by announcing in English they could return with no Covid tests or vaccine requirements.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya confirmed last Thursday the country would snub Angela Merkel by continuing to let British tourists into the country without forcing them to quarantine.
She said at a press conference with her Panamanian counterpart Erika Mouynes after their meeting in Madrid: “At the moment we are maintaining the measures which enable British citizens to enter our territory.”
A leading Portuguese politician urged his government to “get tough” with Britain after Downing Street kicked the country off the green traffic light list on June 8.
Rui Rio, president of the opposition Social Democratic Party, had criticised the decision to let “disrespectful foreigners” into Portugal to watch the Champions League final between Man City and Chelsea when home fans were still banned from matches.
He demanded a hardline stance from his government following the chaos sparked by Britain’s decision to put Portugal on amber three weeks after making it the only major European holiday destination to have a green light travel rating.
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Mr Rio did not specify what he thought Portugal’s leaders should do to make the UK rethink their “unfair” behaviour.
But he insisted: “The Portuguese government should adopt a position of great firmness with the United Kingdom.
“I don’t know if it will be enough to change its position, now the UK has behaved and is behaving in a very unfair way towards Portugal.”
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