BRITS have flooded Faro airport as they rush to get back to the UK before Portugal is plunged onto the amber travel list from Tuesday.
Hundreds of holidaymakers have been crammed into the airport today as they desperately try to catch flights back to Britain to avoid needing to quarantine.
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Long, snaking queues of tourists – who don’t appear to be social distancing – have been snapped looking fed up as they wait to board planes in scorching 22C heat.
Brits are scrambling to get back to the UK before the Portugal moves to the UK’s amber list from 4am on Tuesday.
The sunny European country was on the green travel list – meaning holidaymakers could freely fly for a holiday there without any need to quarantine.
But it has now been slapped onto the amber list, sparking a mad dash of people trying to get back as they flock to airports.
It comes as airlines are ramping up the cost of flights from Portugal as Brits rush to get back before 4am on Tuesday.
A seat on a Ryanair flight from the capital Lisbon to Manchester on Monday costs £339, whereas travel on the same route is available for just £75 on Wednesday.
British Airways is charging £348 for flights from Faro to London Heathrow on Sunday and Monday, but the price drops to £137 on Tuesday.
More than 112,000 Brits are currently in Portugal and travellers returning from there after the Tuesday deadline will be required to take a pre-departure PCR Covid test and provide a negative result.
They will then have to pay for a further two tests on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine.
Brits can opt for private Covid test providers, which can cost between £120 and £300 per person – or slightly cheaper options are available from Boots and Superdrug.
It means a family four could be spending anywhere between £240 and £1,200 to fly home – plus parents potentially taking 10 days off work.
Portugal was this week relegated from its green status after ministers sounded the alarm about a worrying new “Nepal mutation” of the Indian variant detected in the holiday hotspot.
Confirming Britain’s “difficult but decisive decision” – first revealed by The Sun – Grant Shapps warned 68 cases of the Indian “Delta” variant had been identified in Portugal.
They include cases of the emerging Nepal mutation – and the minister said it was currently unclear if vaccines were effective against the strain.
The boss of Ryanair has slammed the government’s decision to move Portugal from the green list to the amber list, saying they were “making it up as they go along”.
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary told BBC Breakfast: “What upset us and most of the industry was that this decision to move Portugal from green to amber isn’t based on any science or public health.
“Portugal has vaccinated 40 per cent of adults [and] it has the same low Covid case rates of the UK – 50 per 100,000 people.”
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Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of travel agent group Advantage Travel Partnership, said the decision in relation to Portugal was “an absolute devastating blow” for consumers and the industry.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It now throws confidence completely out of the window.
“It puts the industry in a really difficult position and consumers in a difficult position in order to be able to plan effectively.”