LONDON (UK) – Britain removed Portugal from its list of isolated COVID-19 on Thursday, but said the spread of the disease elsewhere meant that immigrants from Croatia, Austria and Trinidad and Tobago would have to isolate themselves for two weeks.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps has announced changes on Twitter – the latest in a series of changes in the segregation policy as Britain seeks to prevent the introduction of new infections of free diseases overseas.
“The data … shows that we can now add Portugal to those COUNTRIES FREE TOP,” he said.
Shapps says the entire British travel policy is constantly under review and could change quickly, warning that people should only travel if they are satisfied to isolate themselves if the rules change during their holidays.
To emphasize that point, he also announced Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago that they have been added to their residential list, and incoming passengers will need to isolate themselves 14 days after their arrival, from 0300 GMT on Saturday.
Portugal, a British tourist destination, has expressed frustration that Britain has refused to relinquish its solitary confinement, which has severely affected the tourism-dependent economy.
The British tourism and aviation industry has also been hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic, with other popular resorts in France and Spain already in need of solitary confinement.
Portugal’s foreign ministry responded to the decision on Twitter, saying: “This is very good news.”
“This decision reflects the positive effects of the two countries’ work. It allowed for the realization that the situation in that country has always been under control.”
New cases in Portugal have been steadily declining since the beginning of July, but remain at several hundred a day, with 291 new cases and 2 deaths on Thursday.