HOLIDAYMAKERS have arrived back home from amber-listed Portugal with just hours to spare – as some say they’re “ashamed to be British.”
Desperate Brits rushed home in a mad dash to return before 4am – with countless tourists snapped looking fed-up as they hurry home after shelling out for pricey plane seats.
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Passengers arriving in Manchester after catching the last flights back to the UK before Portugal joins the amber list[/caption]
Brits flooded airports in Portugal yesterday[/caption]
Tourists rushed back before Portugal was put on the amber travel list[/caption]
People arriving into Stanstead from Lisbon on the last flight from green-list Portugal[/caption]
After 4am today, those returning from Portugal must isolate for 10 days[/caption]
Anyone landing after 4am today then will have to quarantine for ten days — and spend hundreds of pounds on more Covid testing.
Brits who couldn’t get seats on expensive flights home have been left in the lurch – while Portuguese businesses that rely on tourism face yet another blow.
The sunny European country was on the green travel list – meaning holidaymakers could freely fly for a holiday there without any need to quarantine.
But last week, the government announced Portugal would be moving onto the amber list, sparking a mad dash of people trying to get back without the need to isolate.
The decision was branded “atrocious” by the last passengers flying into Birmingham from the holiday hotspot before the quarantine deadline.
Bob Wallis, flying back from Madeira yesterday, said the last-minute change left him feeling “ashamed to be British”.
Brits have escaped quarantine – and most likely cut their holiday short[/caption]
Travellers arriving at Stanstead from Lisbon last night[/caption]
Portugal entered England’s amber list at 4am this morning[/caption]
Weary travellers return to Manchester with only a few hours to spare before new rules come into force[/caption]
Holidays have been cut short for many[/caption]
He told the Mirror: “We were lucky. People arrived a day after us and they can’t get back.
“I felt ashamed to be British out there at one point because all these guys are depending on British tourism and they were shocked that this happened.”
Thousands have been forced to slash their holidays short, with airports in Portugal pictured packed out yesterday as Brits rushed home.
And with thousands landing back in the UK, Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted airports have been full to the brim with arrivals.
Despite Portugal making the criteria that government set out for a green list country – with low hospitalisations, daily deaths near zero and nearly all elderly citizens vaccinated – the country was taken off the green list just weeks after being added, due to the threat of new variants.
Thousands of Brits have arrived back in the UK from Portugal[/caption]
Many have been forced to cut their holidays short[/caption]
Passengers arriving back at Heathrow yesterday in a final mad dash[/caption]
Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa has slammed the UK for its removal from the list, telling reporters yesterday: “We can’t have this system of instability and changes every three weeks.
“It isn’t good for those who plan their holidays, nor for those who have to organise the tourism industry to receive tourists in good conditions.”
It comes as flights from Portugal to the UK hit £784 yesterday as 100,000 Brits race home.
The 13 one-way flights from Faro, Algarve, to London yesterday averaged around six times more than the usual price.
Holidaymakers can expect to pay around £250 for a last minute flight home on Monday compared to between £30 and £55 every day for the rest of the week.
The 5.55pm BA flight to Heathrow only had only business-class seats costing £784 left. Other BA flights were much cheaper, but still far more expensive than average.
The cheapest flight of the last UK departures from Faro was the 6:40pm WizzAir trip to Luton, costing £136.
Holidaymakers who do not make it home in time for the deadline will have to quarantine for 10 days.
Brits travelling back from amber list countries are also required to take a pre-departure PCR Covid test and provide a negative result.
They will also have to pay for a further two tests on day two and eight of quarantine, adding £800 for a family of four.
The extra costs caused a last minute scramble for flights, with one mum telling The Sun the short notice rule change had cost her £1,000.
Meanwhile, a new study has revealed just 1.5 per cent of tourists have tested positive for Covid after returning from Portugal.
Brits arriving from Portugal in the nick of time[/caption]
Passengers looked exhausted as they made their way through the terminal[/caption]
The data, compiled by Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) for the government, found just three positive cases of Covid out of 200 travellers returning from Portugal between May 6 and May 19, the Mail reports.
The seven-day case rate in Portugal was also lower than the UK’s during the study, with just 30.2 cases per 100,000, compared to the UK’s 35.9.
At the weekend, Brits crammed into Faro airport in a bid to get home before the Tuesday deadline.
Long, snaking queues of tourists – who didn’t appear to be social distancing – were snapped looking fed up as they waited to board planes in scorching 22C heat.
And one family feared they would become stuck in Portugal after being turned away from a hospital that ran of out Covid tests.
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Ahead of last week’s announcement, it was hoped that holiday hotspots including the Spanish and Greek islands could be added to the quarantine-free travel list this week, opening up more destinations by June 7.
Instead, no new countries were added to the green list, while others, including Egypt and Sri Lanka, have been pushed into the red.
Brits travelling back from a red list country face a 10 day hotel quarantine stay that costs up to £1,750 per person.
People arriving back to Manchester[/caption]
Are you stranded in Portugal or paid over the top prices to get back? Email email@example.com