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Pandemic ‘really spoiled our holiday’ tourists say as they return from Portugal

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Many travellers paid hundreds to reschedule flights as Portugal moved to the amber list at 4am this morning (Picture: BPM/PA)Furious holidaymakers said they felt ‘ashamed to be British’ as they raced back from Portugal to dodge new amber list restrictions last night, landing with just hours to spare.
Tourists were left fuming on Thursday when the Government announced people had until today until tougher restrictions were introduced amid ‘growing evidence’ of a Nepal Covid variant.
Passengers flying into England complained their trips were ‘ruined’ as they were forced to pay hundreds to change flights at the last minute and come home early.
Mum Laura Fernandes, 45, said she’d had an ‘absolute nightmare’ after paying £1,700 to buy second flights for five people.
She told MailOnline: ‘Because of quarantine, the kids would not have been able to go back to school. It’s a nightmare.’
Alan and Lisa Pechey, from Cambridge, said the last-minute decision to move Portugal to amber had ‘really spoiled their holiday’, leaving them ‘pretty furious’.
The pair was slammed with an £800 bill as they booked flights to Gatwick Airport from Lisbon to avoid quarantine restrictions.
Lisa said: ‘We had flown out on Monday for a relaxing break, but from Thursday onwards we were under extreme stress.

Bob Wallis said the UK had treated Portugal ‘disgracefully’ (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

The last flight from Portugal lands at Heathrow on Monday evening

A health technician takes a nasal swab for a PCR COVID-19 test of a traveler at Humberto Delgado International Airport a day before the country is taken off the UK’s green list (Picture: Corbis via Getty Images)‘My main problem was the stress, because we didn’t want to quarantine. I was pretty furious because they should have told us to watch out if we were going to Portugal so everyone would have known.’
Meanwhile, Bob Wallis and wife Christine were lucky enough to ‘just manage’ to squeeze in their two-week break before quarantine restrictions hit.
But they still blasted the UK Government as they landed at Birmingham Airport from Madeira, saying ministers have treated Portugal ‘disgracefully’.
Bob said: ‘I felt ashamed to be British out there at one point because all these guys are depending on British tourism and they were shocked that this happened. You feel really sorry for them.’
The couple enjoyed their get-away but said they felt like they needed another after the stress of flight delays and filling in coronavirus forms at the airport.
The decision came after coronavirus cases in Portugal nearly doubled within the last three weeks.
But the travel industry has fumed, accusing the Government of ‘tearing up its own rule book and ignoring the science’.

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Tourists were left fuming after the Government made the announcement last Thursday (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

The move came after ‘growing evidence’ of a Nepal coronavirus variant, ministers said

Jacqueline Leonard returning on a flight from Madeira, Portugal to Birmingham Airport (Picture: BPM MEDIA)Easyjet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren said: ‘With Portuguese rates similar to those in the UK it simply isn’t justified by the science.
‘And to add no more countries to the green list when most of Europe’s infection rates are on a downward trend and many places with low infection rates below that of the UK, such as the Balearics with a current rate of 33 in 100,000 and Malta, with just 12 in 100,000, this makes no sense.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.
For more stories like this, check our news page.

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