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Portugal is a popular holiday spot among Britons across the country. Unfortunately, mainland Portugal has effectively been out of bounds to Britons after it was removed from the UK’s travel corridor list. Today, there has been some good news for travellers returning to Scotland from Madeira and the Azores.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is advising against all but essential travel to mainland Portugal.
This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
The autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores, are exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel.
The quarantine exemption was originally just for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
But now the FCDO has updated its advice which means people returning to Scotland from the autonomous regions no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The FCDO advice says: “From 4am on October 3, Madeira and Azores will be added to the list of countries and territories where self-isolation is not required on return to Scotland.”
Those wishing to visit Madeira or the Azores must be aware of the islands’ entry requirements before they visit.
Before travelling to Madeira or Porto Santo, travellers must complete and submit a traveller questionnaire 12-48 hours before they depart.
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If you have proof of a negative coronavirus test, you must upload this 72 hours before departure.
On arrival you will have to undergo a health screening and if you have not uploaded a coronavirus test result, you will have to show it at the airport.
If you don’t have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, you will have to take a test at the airport and self-isolate at your accommodation until you have the results of the test which will take roughly 12 hours.
Travellers wishing to visit the Azores must complete and submit a heath form 72 hours before their arrival.
After completing the form, travellers will get a code which they then present to the health authorities when they arrive.
If you have not completed the form online, you have to do it manually at the airport.
You will also have to “show proof of a negative COVID-19 test carried out 72 hours before departure”.
“Or take a test on arrival and self-isolate at your accommodation until the results are known,” according to the FCDO website.
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If you are staying in the Azores for more than a week, travellers will have to repeat the test locally six days after the first test.
The Scottish government has said that people should “think carefully” before they book to go abroad.
It warned that travel rules can change at short notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This could include having to quarantine,” Scottish government website said.
It added: “Do not assume that the rules and regulations applying to or in your destination when you book a holiday will stay the same when you are there or be the same when you come to travel home.”
“All passengers must complete an online passenger locator form before travelling, and provide contact details, travel details and the address of their final destination.”
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