New blow for summer travel as Germany puts Portugal on the red list, even for fully vaccinated
German authorities announced on Friday afternoon that starting at 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, all travelers entering the country from Portugal will face two weeks of quarantine.
The Robert Koch institute (German federal health authority) justified the measure by the fact that Portugal has “variants in circulation”, in particular the Delta (which represents around 60% of the cases currently active in the areas around Lisbon).
This decision is absolute. It applies to every traveler, even those with negative tests and / or a full set of vaccines.
As well as being further proof that vaccines don’t “do their job” by even freeing people from restrictions, the decision itself has plunged the tourism industry into a deeper crisis.
In Madeira – which has just been reinstated on the UK’s green list (click here) – thousands of flights due to arrive from Germany in the coming week are now “at risk”.
Eduardo Jesus, secretary of state for tourism of the autonomous region wasted no time in criticizing the decision, saying that the situation in Madeira is the opposite of that of the Portuguese mainland. The United Kingdom knew how to appreciate it, why not Germany?
He told reporters that since Chancellor Merkel “spoke out” on Portugal’s decision making on pandemic control “we knew there was a threat in this regard.”
Now, just days after Ms. Merkel’s criticism – alluding to Portugal’s decision to allow the British into the country in May, click here – that threat has crystallized.
For Madeira alone, the question now arises of the 6,200 airline seats that should arrive in the coming days. Will there be people on them? “There was no time to assess the cancellations,” Mr Jesus told Madeira’s Dnoticias online last night.
The reaction of tourism entities on the continent is yet to come.
Say reports, the German decision applies to all forms of entry into the country, whether by train, road, sea or air.
The measure will remain in place for the next two weeks before being “revised”.