The UK red list of countries from which direct flights are banned and from which travellers must quarantine within a designated hotel has been updated. Mauritius and Portugal have both been removed from the list and travellers arriving from both countries after 4am on Friday 19th March 2021 will be able to quarantine in their own homes.
The removal of both countries from the Red List also means that direct flights from the UK to Portugal and Mauritius can now resume.
Portugal was added to the red list over fears of the Brazilian variant of the Covid 19 virus being transported to the UK. Mauritius was on the list to protect the UK against the South African variant of the virus.
On Monday 15th March2021, The Department for Transport said the decision to remove Portugal and Mauritius from England’s red list was based on new data that showed “the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced. Portugal has put steps in place to mitigate the risk from its links with countries where variants have become a concern, and now has genomic surveillance in place”.
Arrivals from Portugal and Mauritius will still be required to pay for Covid tests on the 2nd and 8th day after their return to the UK. Arrivals from both countries will also be eligible to pay for test and release on the 5th day after their return.
The news offers hope for travellers looking to book a summer holiday in Portugal. The news does not however alleviate the uncertainty surrounding holidays in Mauritius. The current restrictions in Mauritius prohibit all foreign nationals from entering the country.
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