UK bans flights from Portugal from today
The British government has banned flights to the UK from Portugal following a new strain of the coronavirus in Brazil.
However, the measure later appeared to be confusing as the UK government said the measure would not apply to British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with UK residence rights. Presumably, they would be allowed to arrive by train, ferry or car if incoming flights from Portugal were banned.
The British Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps announced on Thursday that Boris Johnson’s Government had decided to suspend flights to the UK from several countries, including Portugal, following the discovery of a new strain of the coronavirus in Brazil as world-wide the death toll from the virus has reached 2 million.
“Ive taken the urgent decision to ban arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, as of 15 January at 4am following a new variant in Brazil,” wrote Grant Shapps on his official Twitter account.
Portugal was also included in the list. “Travel from Portugal to the UK will also be suspended given its strong travel links with Brazil – acting as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections. However, there is an exemption for hauliers travelling from Portugal (only), to allow transport of essential good,” he added.
In another tweet, the Secretary of State also said, “This measure does not apply to British and Irish Nationals and third country nationals with residence rights — but passengers returning from these destinations must self-isolate for ten days along with their households.”
On Wednesday, British health authorities discovered a new variant of coronavirus from Brazil, and on that day the government itself admitted it would take action.