The number of countries Brits can visit after 17 May could increase today as Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, is set to remove Portugal from the UK’s “red list”.

The change in advice means that Brits will be able to visit Portugal after the travel ban is lifted, without having to isolate in a government-approved hotel for 10 days upon their return. Although, until the exact date is confirmed, anyone arriving from Portugal to the UK should continue to book and isolate at the relevant quarantine hotel.

Portugal was the only European country to be added to the “red list” due to its close connections with Brazil, where a concerning strain of the Covid-19 virus first emerged. However, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has since fallen and the rate of new infections appears to be significantly lower than in the UK.

Portuguese officials indicated that the country hopes to reopen to Brits that have received the Covid-19 vaccine, or tested negative for the virus, from mid-May. The reopening of Portugal would fall around the same time that the UK’s travel ban is expected to be lifted, should the Global Travel Taskforce outline that it is safe on 12 April.

Travel advice seems to be changing almost daily. And while this is positive for the travel industry, holidaymakers must protect their trips so they are not caught out by any last-minute restrictions.

In order to protect your holiday, most insurers are offering various forms of protection should Covid-19 affect your trip. The type of cover we recommend looking out for is:

  • Cancellation cover if you or a member of your travelling party catch Covid-19 before your trip and have to isolate.
  • Cover for medical and repatriation expenses should you catch Covid-19 while abroad.
  • Cover for additional expenses should you test positive while abroad and be required to isolate abroad.

Remember, this cover is not automatically included in all travel insurance policies, so we would strongly recommend that you shop around for your insurance and read the policy wordings before buying.

It is important to note, at time of writing, there are no travel insurance providers who will offer cover for changes in government advice due to Covid-19. Therefore, our advice is to book with a tour operator or travel provider that offers flexible cancellation terms and conditions, so should the government change its advice and your plans are impacted, you still have some protection.

For more information on all-things Covid-19 related, click here.