Yesterday the Government confirmed thatthe popular holiday destination Portugal was being knocked down to the amber list, leaving many tourists in disarray. But, the news came as no surprise as coronavirus cases in the country have more than quadrupled over the last three weeks.
Previously Portugal was one of twelve countries on the UK’s green list and one of just a handful that was fully open to British holidaymakers. Now, the country has been moved to the amber list, meaning that anyone who returns from Portugal after 4am on the 8th of June will have to self-isolate for ten days, take a pre-departure test and two coronavirus tests on days two and eight of quarantine.
For all those who are currently on holiday or have had their future vacation plans tarnished, here’s what you should do:
What happens if you are already in Portugal?
If you are already in Portugal and won’t return before 4am on the 8th of June, you will have to self-isolate in the UK and pay for two additional coronavirus tests.
If you wish to avoid quarantine, you will need to return to the UK before the mentioned date. Those who are travelling independently will have to contact their airline to change their tickets. Unfortunately, those who booked a package holiday may not be able to change their flights.
What happens if you booked a package holiday?
If you booked a package holiday, two factors determine whether or not it will be cancelled: advice from the Department for Transport (DfT) and advice from the Foreign Office (FCDO).
So far, Portugal was placed onto the amber list by the DfT, but the FCDO has yet to advise against recreational travel. If the FCDO does limit all but essential travel, then holiday providers will have to cancel and give refunds within two weeks.
If the FCDO doesn’t prohibit recreational travel and you still don’t wish to go on holiday, you may not be able to cancel, but many operators will allow you to postpone your trip for a later time.
What happens if you’re travelling independently?
If you’re travelling independently and your flight gets cancelled, you will be entitled to a refund. However, many airlines may still decide to fly, so you will not have the right to get your money back. Luckily, many airlines are allowing customers to postpone flights without additional charges.
When it comes to accommodation, your right to a refund depends on the terms and conditions agreed to at the time of booking. If your accommodation doesn’t offer a refund, it may be worth trying to postpone.
What happens if you are in a country that was moved to the red list?
There are currently43 countries on the UK’s red-list, with Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago being the most recent additions.
If you are currently in a red list country or have been in a red list country within ten days of arriving in the UK, you will have to pay for hotel quarantine upon arrival, which can cost upwards of £1,750.
What happens if you booked a holiday in a red list country?
If you have booked a holiday in a country that was moved to the red list, then the holiday will need to be cancelled and fully refunded.