The time is running! Portugal will be considered a virus variant area from Tuesday (June 29). Strict quarantine threatens. This causes frustration for some German vacationers.
Lisbon – Hundreds of Portugal vacationers packed their bags ahead of time. You want to leave the new virus variant area as soon as possible. The new classification due to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) comes into effect on Monday midnight. Anyone who travels back to Germany from Portugal on Tuesday has to be in quarantine for 14 days. The strict quarantine obligation also applies to those who have been completely vaccinated and those who have recovered and cannot be shortened by a test.
Around 270 tourists got on the plane heading home on Sunday, said Pascal Zahn from the German travel company Olimar in Cologne of the German Press Agency (dpa). A good 50 flew back on Saturday, and around 20 more wanted to do so on Monday.
Portugal holidaymakers taken by surprise – quarantine obligation in Germany comes into force
The RKI message surprised many vacationers in Portugal on Friday. Olimar had then offered his customers a timely return by Monday evening. “About 20 percent of our guests (more than 420) want to stay in Portugal as things stand,” said Zahn according to the dpa.
“The Germans are angry, taken by surprise and helpless. Some don’t yet know how to get home, ”says Stefanie Bachmann Editorial network Germany (RND). She was staying in a holiday apartment from Praia da Albandeira and found out about the new situation on Friday evening. She tried to reach Lufthansa for hours to postpone the return flight. Shortly before midnight it finally worked, says Bachmann. The rebooking cost 270 euros.
Corona in the holiday country: Delta variant is spreading massively in Portugal
The delta variant dominates in Portugal. According to data from the health authority DGS from Friday evening, it now accounts for more than 50 percent of all new infections nationwide – in the greater Lisbon area it is even more than 70 percent.
In the current weekly report by the European Disease Agency (ECDC) (as of June 24, 2021), Portugal has a 14-day incidence of 124.5. It is the highest of all 30 EU countries. For comparison: In Germany, the 14-day incidence is 25.06.
Corona in Portugal – Lisbon is cordoned off because of the Delta variant
The number of infections in Portugal is currently increasing rapidly. The highly contagious Delta variant is held responsible for the current situation. Portugal has imposed new restrictions on the capital Lisbon. Unnecessary trips to and from Lisbon are banned from Friday to Monday. In the 2.8 million city, the opening times of restaurants and shops have been partially restricted again.
In winter, Portugal was considered the corona hotspot in Europe. The number of infections exploded. The hospitals in Lisbon were at the limit. Then in the spring the country was considered the leader in the coronavirus pandemic. The number of infections was extremely low. Now the situation is changing. However, the government is determined to prevent another lockdown.
Like the British The Guardian reported, Portugal now wants to enact new corona rule for British tourists. Brits have to be in quarantine for 14 days after their arrival if they are not fully vaccinated. For vacationers from Great Britain, a trip to Portugal is currently rather complicated. On their return, travelers from Portugal have to isolate themselves at home for 10 days and take Covid tests.
Portugal: Travel association criticizes classification as a virus variant area
The German Travel Association (DRV) criticizes the classification of all of Portugal as a virus variant area and advocates more regional differentiation. “It would be desirable if those responsible in politics could move on to a more regional approach,” said DRV spokeswoman Kerstin Heinen Rheinische Post with a view to the approach of the RKI. Madeira in particular has a very low incidence, which is currently 16, but will still be listed as a virus variant area from Tuesday like all of Portugal. “It’s hard to understand,” said Heinen. In Germany there is growing concern about the delta variant. Calls for stricter entry rules are loud. You can find all information in our Corona Germany news ticker. (ml with material from dpa) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA