Brits returning from Portugal express frustrations at having to quarantine

8 June 2021, 17:57

First British tourists fly from Portugal after rule change

By Daisy Stephens

The first British tourists have returned from Portugal since it was added to the amber list, and are now facing lengthy isolation periods and expensive coronavirus testing.

Speaking to LBC reporter Emma Corr, some travellers were frustrated by the measures.

“We were five hours after we went from green to amber so it seems pretty ridiculous that if our flight had been five hours earlier there would be no quarantine, no expensive tests,” said Ella from London, who flew back from Portugal on Tuesday morning.

She said she “didn’t see the point” of putting Portugal on the green list to begin with, and said that quarantining now was going to be very inconvenient.

“We’ve all got jobs to go to,” she said.

“I work for a charity that needs me in the office, lots of other people are frontline workers, and now they’ve had to deal with cancelling their holidays, the tests, the quarantine.”

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Liz and Paul from Burgess Hill also flew in from Portugal on Tuesday morning.

Paul described the new measures as a “real pain in the neck” and said he “hadn’t anticipated” the change in the rules.

Many passengers rushed to return from Portugal before the measures came into force at 4am on Tuesday
Many passengers rushed to return from Portugal before the measures came into force at 4am on Tuesday. Picture: PA

However others have said that, whilst inconvenient, the change did not come as a surprise.

“We knew from what has been said in the past that things could change at any time,” said Augustina from Brighton.

“I have to be very frank with you and say we were not happy about it, but it wasn’t totally unexpected.”

Brits flying home from Portugal react to quarantine rules

Some people told LBC that the new measures were preferable over cutting their holidays short and braving packed airports.

Liz described the journey as “very easy” in comparison to what it would have been in the days running up to the new rules coming into force.

“The cost of an additional test was less than it was going to cost to change our flights,” added Paul.

“Because we can quarantine at home then we will.”

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Others said that, despite the new measures, their trips were worth it.

Portugal-born Aricardo lives in Oxford and flew back from visiting family on Tuesday morning, something that cost him hundreds of pounds in tests.

“Together we had to do five tests so that ended up being £500,” he said.

“It is excessive, but I haven’t been to Portugal for two years so I needed to see my parents.”

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