Hot-on-the-heels of changes due to Brexit, Brits travelling home from Portugal face yet another rule change from next week.
Thanks to the potential dangers posed by variants of the new coronavirus, British authorities will be demanding negative Covid PCR tests (taken up to 72-hours before flying) from all incoming passengers.
This is on top of the rule that incoming passengers have to self-isolate for 10 days after arriving in UK.
Transport minister Grant Shapps has explained that the new rule will apply to any citizens, British or otherwise, entering UK by air, rail or boat.
Failure to carry a negative test will incur a fine of £500 (just over €500).
Exemptions will apply to truck drivers, children under the age of 11 and air crew of countries “which don’t have the infrastructures to realise these tests”, adds the Portuguese press today.
The changes come in the wake of warnings that the vaccines currently being rolled out may not work against new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Of particular concern is the variant detected in South Africa.
Britain has already suspended direct flights to and from South Africa, but concerns are that passengers could still come into the country via ‘hubs’ (connecting flights using other airports).