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Portugal removed from green list meaning holidaymakers will have to quarantine

By Chris Saunderson

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THE decision to place Portugal on the amber travel list - meaning all holidaymakers will have to quarantine for 10 days when they return from the country - has been criticised.

Joanne Dooey, president of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), the professional body for travel agents and the travel sector in Scotland says there is a feeling of shock at the decision.

Joanne Dooey.
Joanne Dooey.

“Travel agents have run out of words to describe their feelings of shock at the various measures which have been introduced - and revoked - since the start of the pandemic," she said.

Anyone currently in Portugal on holiday would have to return to the UK by 4am on Tuesday to avoid the need to quarantine.

"We described the situation of ‘travel corridors’ last year as the hokey cokey as we didn’t know from one week to the next which countries would be in or out.

"This year with the introduction of the traffic lights, all we have is a more colourful version of the hokey cokey – which is after all a comical and ridiculous child’s game.

“It’s a fallacy to say that there is a green list for Scotland as with the removal of Portugal, which was effectively the only country we could fly to from Scotland, we’ve added another colour – as Scotland seems black-listed.

“This isn’t just about those holidaying in the Algarve who travel agents will have to work, for no income, to repatriate or those who will have to self-isolate for 10 days and take expensive tests; it’s about the systematic dismantling of Scotland’s travel sector.

"At the same time as the wholescale destruction of our country’s travel sector there is no support to speak of for businesses in the aviation, travel and tourism industry battling to save Scotland’s travel.”

The SPAA, founded in 1921 is celebrating its centenary and is the world’s oldest organisation representing travel agents.

It currently has 120 member companies, all their associated agencies across Scotland including many home workers, and 92 associate members across the travel and transport industry. www.spaa.org.

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