Mega queues formed at Portugal’s Faro Airport over the weekend, as Brits made a mad dash home from their Algarve holidays before the UK government’s new mandatory quarantine rules set in for those returning from the country.
The government announced on Thursday that Portugal had been added to its ‘amber list’, which requires those entering the UK from ‘amber’ countries to spend 10 days in quarantine at home. Prior to the announcement, Portugal had been on the ‘green list’, which does not require Brits to quarantine on return.
Predictably, it wasn’t long before Brits rushed to the airport to get on flights that would enter the UK before the new rules come into force at 4am on Tuesday, June 8.
Photos posted to social media over the past few days showed Faro Airport – the main airport for Portugal’s Algarve area, which has previously been listed as Brits’ favourite European tourist destination – packed with crowds and huge queues.
Faro airport the rush to get home. It’s packed. People have paid on average £200 each to comply with the government’s testing regulations all to be changed at the last minute and on what basis? What’s the point in having vaccines or testing? pic.twitter.com/YX2y8bYhJV
— Mama Weaver (@LucyWea14062320) June 6, 2021
The check in queue 25 minutes before takeoff at Faro airport. Speedy boarding and regular checkin queues 🤦♂️ fun times pic.twitter.com/JBlQSjAGnt
— Sean (@SeanShap) June 6, 2021
Tourists reported the “total chaos” as thousands of Brits tried to obtain the required Covid-19 tests before departure, with some people still checking in just minutes before their flights were scheduled to leave.
— Victoria Richards (@nakedvix) June 6, 2021
— Hayley Johansen (@HayleyJshoegirl) June 6, 2021
— Kate Boothby (@BoothbyKate) June 7, 2021
One travelling Brit called the scenes at the airport “absolute carnage” – claiming it took over two hours to check in – and blamed UK government ministers for creating the situation.
Another Brit claimed they had never seen Faro Airport so busy, and pointed out the irony of such huge groups of people crammed together with limited social distancing due to the government’s attempts to stop Covid from spreading.
According to reports, 10,000 Brits tried to leave Portugal from Faro Airport on Saturday alone.
However, this wasn’t the first time Faro Airport had been packed full of people recently. Similar large crowds and queues were caught on camera at the end of May as Brits rushed into Portugal for their half-term summer holidays.
— Nathan Morley (@ndmorley) May 30, 2021
Faro airport yesterday. 3 people on passport control and massive queues with minimal social distancing. Like they didn’t know people were coming 🙈👎 pic.twitter.com/TcmucjAX7l
— Greg Anderson (@GregAnd12668397) May 31, 2021
The UK government also added several countries to its ‘red list’ on Thursday, including Costa Rica, Egypt, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Bahrain, and Trinidad and Tobago. Brits returning to the UK from a ‘red list’ country are required to spend 10 days in a designated quarantine hotel, which costs £1,750.
Many of the countries on the UK’s slim ‘green list’ – such as Australia and New Zealand – currently do not allow Brits to travel there for leisure.
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