Portugal is due to be removed from the Government’s “Green List”, being placed on the “Amber List” from next Tuesday. It seems completely incomprehensible, given that the British Government just allowed 16,500 English football fans to travel there en masse to watch last week’s Champions League final. The Telegraph has the story.
Portugal is set to be axed from the U.K.’s green list, forcing thousands of British holidaymakers to cancel their trips or cut short their breaks to avoid quarantine.
Ministers are understood to have decided on Thursday morning to add Portugal to the amber list from next Tuesday at 4am after tests revealed what are believed to be previously-unknown variants of Covid. It will mean anyone returning from Portugal after then will have to quarantine for 10 days and take at least two PCR tests.
Sources said ministers had decided that with just weeks to go to the lifting of the final Covid restrictions on June 21, they should “not do anything that jeopardises further unlocking at this point.”
In another report, the Telegraph speculates that cases could be rising in Portugal due to – you guessed it – the British Government’s decision to allow English football fans to attend the Champions League final in Porto.
Two events have served to spark new concerns over rising infection rates in Portugal – and both involved football.
The celebrations for Lisbon’s Sporting Clube de Portugal title win saw thousands of fans gather in a cavalcade before moving into the city centre, many maskless, with few socially distancing and most singing.
It has been linked by experts to a surge in cases in the capital that saw the city centre placed on alert last week, with more than 120 cases per 100,000 people per fortnight.
The second involved the 16,500 English fans who arrived in Porto at the weekend to see Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League final. Thousands were pictured ignoring social distancing rules and wearing face masks as they thronged in bars by the Douro river.
The regional health authority for the Porto area said those who were in or near fan zones at the weekend should “reduce contacts over the next two weeks” and look out for Covid symptoms.
Worth reading in full.
What makes this decision so odd is that cases don’t appear to be rising in Portugal – at least, hardly at all.
Stop Press: No countries have been added to the “Green List” today. MailOnline has more.