After the announcement of stricter limits on overseas holidays, the tourism sector has hit back. The green list will not include any more countries and, starting Tuesday next, Portugal will be downgraded to amber.

The government noted that since the previous travel review, Portugal had experienced a doubling in illness rates. Critics warned about job losses and trust while Easyjet alleged that the administration had broken its standards apart.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ statement

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Portugal was “the first step in safety” from green to amber, “giving us the best opportunity for domestic unlocking.”

Labour said it was “not the answer” to move Portugal from green to amber to UK’s international travel system, calling for an end to the amber list.

The administration is charged with “chasing the abuse of travel restrictions at the border,” accused Labor shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds.

Effect on Portugal

Besides the fact that countries did not add to the green list and Portugal was relegated to the amber list, seven more were added to the red list. All the modifications take effect at 04:00 on Tuesday.

Countries are classified as green, amber or red in the English traffic light scheme – with various quarantine and code testing procedures. There are analogous rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Government orders

The government says you shouldn’t be in red or amber destinations – most countries meaning that. Holidays to the green list nations can go forward when you leave home without quarantine. The idea was that Greek, Spanish and Malta, and Finland and portions of the Caribbean could be included in the green list – but the government stressed it had to be careful.

On 7 May, Portugal was announced to be on the Green List by the UK Government. The new cases were low on 10 May (on average for seven days), and since then, the number has increased gradually.

Number of cases

On 2 June, 5.4 new cases per 100,000 people a day, just 5.1 more than in the UK, were reported, although discrepancies in the tests made that comparison hard. For example, it’s substantially more than Israel, which still has 0.2 new instances for every 100,000 that day on the green list.

Countries are on the green list is the decision not just on the number of new cases but also on a variety of additional criteria such as the capability for testing. In the last month, this has not altered drastically.

It is also crucial to have variations of concern (VOCs). In Portugal, all four VOCs are currently discovered in the current report from the World Health Organization. The variant detected for the first time in India a month ago was not yet a VOC. A new modification of this strain has been detected in Portugal, according to the Transport Secretary.

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