Portugal and Mauritius removed from travel ban list, hotel quarantine no longer required

Mar 15, 2021

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Holidays to Portugal and Mauritius could be possible sooner than we thought.

It was announced today that Portugal — including Madeira and the Azores — and Mauritius would be removed from the U.K.’s travel ban list. In other words, those eligible to travel to the U.K. from both countries will no longer have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival, starting on 19 March.

Instead, anyone coming from there will be required to self-isolate for ten days and take their COVID tests at home.

The flight and maritime bans from Portugal are also being removed.

This essentially means that when leisure travel resumes, both destinations could be back on the map as possible hotspots for summer holidays in 2021.

The government said the announcement follows “evidence that shows the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced”, according to Sky News.

The news comes two months after Portugal was urgently put on the U.K.’s travel ban list after worries the Brazilian strain of COVID-19 was present there. Portugal’s close ties with the South American nation and extensive route network between the two countries sparked concerns the strain could spread to the U.K. via Portugal.

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Tavira in the Algarve, Portugal. (Photo by F.J. Jimenez/Getty)

However, the government statement continued: “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.”

In addition, Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar are being added to the red list from 19 March.

As it stands, all international and domestic travel remains illegal under the strict lockdown measures introduced in January.

But in February, the U.K. government outlined its roadmap out of lockdown and set a preliminary date for the return of international travel for 17 May.

“We have laid out how we are going to make progress over the course of the next month, with the report to the prime minister on 12 April, and then looking towards travel at some point after 17 May”, said aviation minister Robert Courts.

Featured image by Inacio Piers/EyeEm via Getty Images

Additional reporting by Hayley Coyle

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