A senior British government minister admitted Friday there was “confusion” over quarantine rules after separate UK countries announced different restrictions on travellers arriving from Portugal.
From Friday, people arriving in Scotland or Wales from Portugal will have to self-isolate for 14 days, a decision taken by the devolved governments in Edinburgh and Cardiff in response to rising coronavirus cases in the Iberian Peninsula.
However, travellers touching down in England or Northern Ireland from Portugal will not have to quarantine.
The separate approaches have been widely criticised and transport minister Grant Shapps conceded there were difficulties.
“I do realise it creates confusion for people not to have a single rule but we do have this devolved approach throughout the United Kingdom and I can only be responsible for the English part of that,” he told Sky News.
Shapps added that the situation was being constantly monitored and could change at “short notice”.
Portugal is a popular summer destination for British travellers, with 2.5 million visiting last year, according to UK government figures, many holidaying in the Algarve.
The restrictions were imposed by the Scottish and Welsh administrations as the seven-day infection rate in Portugal has increased from 15.3 to 23 per 100,000 people.
The UK government usually introduces quarantine conditions when the infection rate is above 20.
Under the rules being introduced, the Scottish government has imposed quarantine rules on Greece and French Polynesia as well as Portugal.
The Welsh government has introduced similar restrictions and also included Gibraltar.