South America and Portugal travel ban: What it means for you

south america and portugal travel ban what it means for you scaled

Direct flights to the UK from Portugal and South America have been banned due to the Brazilian variant of coronavirus – though residents of the UK and Ireland will still be able to travel home.

These are the key questions and answers.

What has happened – and why?

The UK government has been increasingly concerned about a new variant of coronavirus that has emerged from Brazil. Like variants that have been identified in South Africa and the UK, it is alarmingly infectious.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, issued a sudden ban on flights from Portugal and every South American country except the Falkland Islands, and also the Central American nation of Panama and the Atlantic archipelago of Cape Verde.

The full list of Latin America countries is: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The flight ban took effect from 4am on 15 January.

Portugal was included because of the strong links between Portugal and Brazil.

INDY/GO Weekly NewsletterTIME TO TRAVEL!

INDY/GO Weekly NewsletterTIME TO TRAVEL!

Mr Shapps said the ban would act “as another way to reduce the risk of importing infections”.

The last departures from the UK to Portugal were the Friday morning scheduled services on TAP Portugal to Lisbon and Porto. The aircraft had arrived on Thursday evening, before the flight ban, and were allowed to fly back as normal.

Does the Portugal ban apply to Madeira too?

Yes. The “travel corridor” status that the island previously enjoyed, along with the Azores, has now ended.

Are there many people who will be caught by this?

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