Arrivals from Portugal to the UK without controls creates confusion about quarantine

in News · 11-07-2020 12:00:00 · 5 Comments

Portugal has been excluded from the “travel corridors” established by the United Kingdom with dozens of countries to exempt British tourists from their quarantine on their return from holidays, but passengers from Portugal are passing through the Londoners airports without control.

Portuguese João Faneca told the Lusa news agency that he was surprised when he arrived with his family from Porto at London's Luton airport this week and went by without asking him to fill out any form or provide personal details.

"I was waiting for passport control and I saw everyone pass normally. When it was our turn, we showed our documents, but they didn't ask us where we came from and we didn't have to fill in anything," he said.

The situation happened to other Portuguese emigrants in at least one more London airport, in Stanstead, other sources told Lusa.

The advisor of the Portuguese Communities, António Cunha, said he was aware of at least three more people who returned from Portugal without having asked for any paper or contact, creating confusion.

"They were not asked anything, they did not ask for papers or contacts, so they are not quarantining," he said.

Currently, everyone who arrives in the UK by plane, boat or train, including British nationals, must provide an address where they will auto-isolate for 14 days and may be fined for not filling out a form with these details.

As of 10 July, 75 countries and territories, such as Italy, Greece, France and Germany are exempt from this measure, but Portugal has been excluded from the list due to an increase in the number of cases of covid-19 infection in recent weeks, especially in the area of Lisbon.

For passengers arriving from Portugal and other countries considered to be at high risk, it is mandatory to complete a form up to 48 hours before arriving in the United Kingdom, which needs to be shown on arrival at the border, at the airport, whether printed on paper or on mobile phone.

The authorities can contact by phone or visit the location indicated by the passengers where the quarantine would be carried out to confirm that they are complying with the rules, and the infractions are punishable by a fine of up to one thousand pounds (1,100 Euros).

João Faneca told Lusa that a compatriot who had also not filled out a form was unexpectedly visited by the police at home to confirm that he was in isolation and Lusa knows of other cases of people who had to show the form on arrival in London.

The Councillor for Communities, António Cunha, says that the issue of quarantine is confusing many people and made many Portuguese cancel their holiday plans in their country of origin.

"Most of them changed their minds and stay here [in the United Kingdom], especially those who were thinking of going by plane because they don't know if they have to be quarantined on their return. Those who go by car keep travelling because, as they will go through Spain, they hope they don't have to stay in isolation,” he said.

However, this option is not guaranteed because the rules stipulate that even those who arrive from a country on the list of "travel corridors", but have visited a non-exempt country like Portugal, even in passing, are subject to quarantine.


What do I need to do

By José Marques from UK on 08-09-2020 06:15

Can I fly from Porto to Liverpool on Friday for 1week and not need to quarantine

By Linda Frenchwollen from Porto on 20-07-2020 04:06

I understand you are exempt from all rules if your road trip passes through Bearham Castle. A round trip from Lisbon of 3000 km.

By Max from Lisbon on 12-07-2020 05:43

I love Portugal news in English. Good news paper.

By Thakur Prasad Gurung from Algarve on 12-07-2020 04:26

A fiasco after many others.

By Annie from Algarve on 11-07-2020 02:08
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