Holiday boost as Portugal comes OFF coronavirus quarantine list but Croatia and Austria put on

BRITS got a holiday boost tonight as Portugal was removed from the Government's quarantine list – but Croatia and Austria were added.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary confirmed the news tonight, which means tourists can jet off in the knowledge they won't have to isolate when they get back.

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However, the Government warned that things could change again at any minute, and people should be prepared for their plans to be altered.

Mr Shapps said tonight: "Data also shows we can now add Portugal to those countries INCLUDED in Travel Corridors.

"As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can change quickly."

He joked after he was caught in Spain when the Government implemented the new quarantine rules last month: "Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine if required (I speak from experience!)"

However, he also warned that Brits coming back from new hotspots will have to isolate when they get back.

Anyone travelling from Croatia, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago will now have to stay at home for a fortnight to stop them spreading the virus.

The countries join Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and several others which saw spikes in cases and became subjected to the quarantine rules.

The news will cause travel chaos for thousands who are thought to be in the country.

He said: "Data shows we need to remove Croatia, Austria and Trinidad & Tobago from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN.

"If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days."

Croatia's seven-day cumulative number of daily cases now stands at 30 per 100,000 people. 

20 per 100k is one of the government's main benchmarks for imposing quarantine restrictions on a country.

Tens of thousands of Brit tourists are thought to be on holiday in the country at the moment.

Paul Charles, the spokesperson for the Quash Quarantine group told Sun Online Travel yesterday: "When they announce new quarantine measures, Croatia will be sadly added because it is well above government's threshold."

Acording to the aviation data analysts Cirum, from today until the end of September there were another 767 flights scheduled to fly there from the UK today.

Those passenger planes have a total seat capacity of nearly 130,000.

The Croatian tourist board has insisted that it continues to be a safe destination for holidaymakers.

Darija Reic, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Office in London told Sun Online Travel: "We are confident that Croatia is still a safe place for tourists, with the majority of the coast having low numbers of infections.

"Croatian authorities are continuously monitoring and adjusting COVID related safety measures to ensure we are controlling the virus at all times.

" There are currently over 700.000 tourists enjoying their time on our shores – and that is the greatest testament of travellers' trust in Croatia's image as a safe destination."

The tourist board added in a statement that, according to the latest data, there are 1,371 active Covid cases, of which only 39 per cent is recorded on the coast, where the largest number of foreign tourists stay.

The country currently has no entry requirements or travel restrictions for British tourists.

Tour operators and airlines are likely to stop flights and holidays now.

This will mean they will offer a refund or credit note, while some airlines are allowing passengers to move their flights free of charge.

Slovenia is now urging its citizens to return from Croatia by the end of the week or face an obligatory two-week quarantine.

Slovenians already in Croatia will be able to return freely until the end of this week, while those travelling to the neighbouring country from August 21 onwards will have to go into quarantine when they return.

Croatia escaped the worst of the first wave of the pandemic owing to swift lockdowns and a lack of tourist arrivals at the tail-end of winter.

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