‘Growing evidence’ of Nepal variant in Portugal as tourists head back to UK
Tourists who happened to be enjoying the sun in Portugal were livid to find out they had to get home immediately. New quarantine rules come into effect on Tuesday, which would have seen holiday goers couped up for an extended period of time.
EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren has claimed that the new plans were a "huge blow to those who are currently in Portugal and those who have booked."
Lundgren's statement then read that the government: "has torn up its own rule book and ignored the science."
Dayna Brackley, who is currently in Portugal, spoke to the Independent following the news. "It all feels like a last-minute scramble – I'm meant to be flying home on Tuesday afternoon and taking my kids to school on Wednesday morning.
In conversation with Sky News, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the decision was made in order to protect the UK and its residents. Following the growing concerns of the supposed 'Nepal Variant,' Portugal was added to the Amber list of travel destinations.
Speaking to Sky News this morning, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said the decision to remove Portugal was made to protect the UK after Covid cases increased over there and the Nepal variant was discovered.
"We don't yet know how much of a problem that is, how transmissibility is, whether it might be too difficult even for our vaccines." "But it's important that we take a cautious approach, and so we take action now whilst we do research and learn more about that variant."
The Nepal Variant, which is slated to be a mutation of the Indian Delta strain, is currently being investigated by Public Health England. However, The World Health Organisation has insisted they know nothing of this variant.
Professor Henrique Barros, Portugals National Health Council president, has labelled the UK's decision as an 'overreaction'. He insists that they are aware of the variant, but people should not be worried.
With the travel industry struggling to recoup the past year's losses and countries terrified of another huge wave, the debate could go on for some time.