After months of being absent from the UK’s travel corridor list, Portugal finally earned a spot last week. However, it seems its time on the list could be short-lived if the country’s average case rate continues to rise. CEO of the travel consultancy, The PC Agency and former BBC News Presenter Paul Charles has been posting daily updates on Twitter about countries’ case rates.
Today, Mr Charles revealed that the figures show Portugal has moved into the “amber zone”.
He tweeted: “Friday update: #Portugal is now in the amber zone as cases rise again.
“#Italy still green but has gone from seven to thirteen in a week.
“A clear surge continuing in #Spain and #France.”
Portugal’s case rate over a seven-day period was recorded as 16.4 cases per 100,000 people today.
This is an increase compared to yesterday’s figure of 15.3.
The country is currently in the “amber zone” along with Jamaica and Bulgaria.
Jamaica’s figures were in the “red” yesterday but have since dropped slightly.
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Portugal has recorded 57,074 coronavirus cases and 1,815 deaths, at the time of writing.
The figures are drastically lower than neighbouring Spain’s which is now topping over 450,000 cases.
Twitter users are also concerned that Portugal could soon end up back on the UK’s quarantine list.
One user said: “And I see Portugal could be added to the UK quarantine list in the coming days.”
Another said: “#UK Tourists in #Portugal to be on alert, as the country’s time in the sun on UK Travel Corridor list may be short lived as case numbers rise.”
Another added: “Portugal rates are rising after one week of the airbridge. How long before the quarantine rule is put back into place for the UK?”
The UK government has been reviewing its travel corridor list and quarantine measures on a weekly basis.
Yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that Jamaica, Switzerland and the Czech Republic would be removed from the UK’s quarantine exemption list.
All three countries had recorded an increase in coronavirus cases that led to their average case rate rising above the UK government threshold.
Mr Shapps explained yesterday on Twitter that a “lead indicator” for countries being removed from the list is whether they have more than 20 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
He also said the decision on whether to add or remove a country is made after research from the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
Other factors include “level, rate & speed of change in confirmed cases.”
Mr Shapps also revealed yesterday that Cuba would be added to the travel corridor list.
The changes will come into force from 4am tomorrow.
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