UK Politics

Holidaymakers left ‘totally confused’: UK divided over Portugal quarantine rules

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Holidaymakers and industry leaders have criticised the government after Wales and Scotland reimposed quarantine restrictions on Portugal and Greece, while England and Northern Ireland did not make any changes.

The nations made different decisions at the weekly point when their coronavirus quarantine lists are normally updated.

There was speculation about what would happen to Portugal given COVID-19 cases there rose to 23 per 100,000 people in the seven days up to Wednesday – up from 15.3 a week earlier.

Quarantine fears lifted for English tourists

But the government is now under fire, for failing to provide "clarity" on the move, with travel industry leaders saying tourists have been left "totally confused" by the separate approaches.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said ministers offered "no clarity around how these decisions are made" and accused them of "ignoring the growing evidence suggesting this system is not working".

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"If the government is serious about letting international travel resume while prioritising public health, a major reassessment of its approach is needed," he added.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: "The quarantine policy is in tatters and dividing the UK."

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Derek, who was visiting Almancil in Portugal, told Sky News that his son and wife did not join him because they feared quarantine being imposed and his brother had rushed home to go back to work and help his son head to university.

He claimed tourists were being left "confused" and that "it's very unfair because people seem to be put on short notice, not only is it very expensive but they don't know if they're coming or going".

Portugal will not be put back on the quarantine list in England
Confusion over Portugal quarantine

Kelly Jones changed her family's flights back from the Algarve from Saturday to Friday to ensure the children would not miss out on two weeks of school.

The 45-year-old said she paid Jet2 £900 on Monday to bring the trip home to Birmingham forward a day in anticipation of quarantine measures being reintroduced and hit out at the "absolutely disgusting" situation.

"The government just change the goalposts left, right and centre at the moment," she said. "It's embarrassing.

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"They don't make things clear enough. They say they need the rate under 20 and it's gone above that this week, so wRead More – Source