Scotland and Wales add Portugal to quarantine lists
Travellers returning to Wales from Portugal and six Greek islands will need to self-isolate for 14 days if they return after 4am on Friday. And the Scottish Government has followed suit by adding Portugal to its quarantine list, meaning all travellers returning to Scotland from there after 4am on Saturday will also need to self-isolate.
Wales will add mainland Portugal, six Greek islands (Antiparos, Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Paros and Zakynthos), Gibraltar and French Polynesia to its quarantine list at 4am on Friday. But while travellers from mainland Portugal will need to quarantine, the Azores and Madeira will still be exempt.
The Welsh Government had already asked arrivals from Zante to self-isolate.
The Scottish Government later announced it will also add Portugal and French Polynesia to its quarantine list from 4am on Saturday. It had already announced that arrivals to Scotland from Greece would need to self-isolate from today (Thursday).
However, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps indicated on Twitter that there would be no changes to the list of travel corridors with England today. Northern Ireland's travel corridor list also remains unchanged.
For more help, see our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide.
I'm travelling from an affected area into Wales – what do I need to know?
Unless you fall within an exemption, if you arrive in Wales from Portugal, Gibraltar, French Polynesia or an affected Greek island from 4am on Friday 4 September, you will:
- Need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to Wales.
- Not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in Wales, except in very limited situations (known as 'self-isolating').
Wales's quarantine rules generally apply to travellers arriving in Wales who have been in a non-exempt country within the past 14 days – so you'll be affected even if you arrive at an English airport and then travel to Wales, or have been in another country Wales has a 'travel corridor' with since leaving Portugal or an affected Greek island less than 14 days ago.
I'm travelling from an affected area into Scotland – what do I need to know?
Unless you fall within an exemption (you can find more details on these on the Scottish Government website), if you arrive in Scotland from Portugal or French Polynesia from 4am on Saturday 5 September, you will:
- Need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to Scotland.
- Not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in Scotland, except in very limited situations (known as 'self-isolating').
The measures apply to international travellers into Scotland irrespective of their point of entry into the UK, so if you arrive at an English airport then travel into Scotland you'll still need to isolate.
They also apply if you travel to Portugal, then a country which Scotland has a 'travel corridor' with, and then back to Scotland, as long as you've been in Portugal within the last 14 days.
If you break the rules, you could end up being hit with a £480 fine.
I had a trip booked and it's been cancelled – what are my rights?
At the moment, some travel to Portugal and Greece will be going ahead, but other trips will be cancelled – for example, Tui has already said it will be cancelling some package holidays to Greece. The good news is if your flight or package holiday is cancelled by a travel firm, it has to refund you in full by law:
- Under the Package Travel Regulations, if a package holiday's cancelled you're due a full refund within 14 days. Though right now, it's often taking longer and getting a full refund during the pandemic has not always proved easy (for more help, see cancelled package holiday refunds).
- If you have a flight and it's cancelled, then under EU flight delay rules you're due a full refund within seven days. Though again, right now there are delays to refunds and some have struggled to get them (for more help, see cancelled flight refunds).
Hotel stays booked directly are unlikely to be cancelled. If they are, there's no specific regulation governing these like there is with package travel and flights. You'd likely be owed a refund, but it would depend on local law.
I had a trip booked and it's not cancelled – what are my rights?
At the moment, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is not advising against trips to Portugal or Greece, though this could change in the coming days.
The lack of an advisory means that you'll be unlikely to be able to demand a refund and, sadly, also means that your insurer likely won't cover you if you don't want to travel, as Government advisories against travel are the usual triggers for travel insurers to pay out.
If you don't want to travel, you'll probably need to work with your travel provider to see if it can offer you an alternative trip, or different travel dates – though this isn't a right.
And if you've a trip to Greece or Portugal booked but it's not leaving in the next few weeks, then you may be best off waiting to see what happens. Don't cancel your trip yourself. That means you have no rights to a refund in most cases. It is far better for the airline or travel firm to cancel the trip – then you have more rights.
Additional reporting from PA Media.