A message from the British Embassy: The UK Government yesterday announced restrictions on travel between the UK and mainland Portugal. Specifically, the UK government advises against all non-essential travel to mainland Portugal and will require all travellers arriving in the UK from mainland Portugal from 0400 on 12 September to self-isolate for 14 days.
This is due to the need to reduce the risk of imported coronavirus cases into the UK in view of the worsening pandemic situation in mainland Portugal.
In line with UK government policy changes announced on 7 September a more targeted approach to travel corridors can now be taken regarding islands. This means an area that presents a higher or lower public health risk to UK travellers can be assessed separately to the rest of the country. As a result of this and given the lower rates of infection in the islands, people travelling direct from Madeira or the Azores to England, Northern Ireland or Wales will not need to self-isolate. But those arriving in Scotland will need to do so, in line with the Scottish government’s announcement on 3 September. UK Travel Advice for Madeira and the Azores remains unchanged.
We know this will cause disruption and uncertainty for travellers who are in mainland Portugal, or planning to visit. But public health is the UK Government’s top priority. And as case numbers have risen across Europe in recent weeks, including in Portugal, the government must keep the risk of imported cases of coronavirus down. These decisions are informed by a range of factors assessed by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Each country is considered on an individual basis, with factors such as weekly case rates weighted against other factors in that country including trends in incidence and deaths, prevalence, information on a country’s testing capacity and degree of community transmission.
We regret the impact these decisions will have for the Portuguese community in the UK as well as the Portuguese tourism industry and look forward to being able to reverse these measures when public health conditions allow.