BRITS will FINALLY be able to grab a last minute break to Portugal after the holiday hotspot was taken off the quarantine list – but Croatia and Austria were added.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary confirmed the news tonight, which means tourists will be able to 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."
The Sun understands there are around 127,000 seats on flights from the UK to Portugal from now until the end of the month – which are now likely to get snapped up fast.
When The Sun checked some flights were being sold for just £20 from London to Faro.
Mr Shapps 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!)"
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency told The Sun: “This provides a welcome boost for the travel industry, and gives Portugal the prospect of enjoying a bumper bank holiday.
“It’s a positive end to what has been a difficult summer, and if the Portuguese can keep on top of their numbers, they should see some recovering into September and October – and would be the perfect destination for the October half term.
"There are 719 flights to Portugal between now and the end of August – that's 127,000 seats – and carriers will be desperate to try and add more routes."
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.
Around 25,000 Brits will be forced to self-isolate if they return from the Balkan sunshine state, sparking another European exodus.
Mr Shapps 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.
Croatia though was bumped from the list after the World Health Organisation said the Balkans region was considered a "hotspot" for coronavirus.
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.
Dr Catherine Smallwood said: "The situation in the Balkans has been a concern of ours since early June when we started to see cases increase and it's been very much a sub-regional hotspot over the summer period.
"We really need communities to take this on board, take the adequate steps both at a country level, in terms of the basic contact tracing, case identification and isolation and testing the systems that need to be in place.
"And then where there are hotspots and increased transmission, additional targeted measures need to be brought in place very quickly to nip transmission in the bud, stop it from spreading and keep the level of transmission at controllable levels."
Darija Reic, the director of the Croatian national tourist office in London insisted the region was safe and said: “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.”
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.
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