Portugal sends officers to border as thousands of Brits flock to country

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Portugal has sent officers to its border after Brits flocked to the country once it was removed from the coronavirus quarantine red list.

The country’s border and immigration service said the decision to send in more officers came after thousands of Brits entered the European nation.

Holidaymakers from the UK grew by 190% to the country, in the week from August 20, after the government removed travel restrictions to Portugal.

A picture shared by a lawmaker on Thursday showed the extent of the issue, with long queue of hundreds of tourists at the airport.

Travellers appeared to not be adhering to social distancing guidelines.

It was posted alongside the caption: "Airport staff were all sent home, the airport is not at all prepared for the flood of people coming in.

"The English traded holidays in Spain and France at the last minute to come to the Algarve.

"Special measures are urgently needed."

In a statement on Friday, Portuguese border force said the photograph depicted a one-off situation when eight flights landed around the same time.

However, to deal with the surge in arrivals, a total of 12 extra border control officers were sent to Faro airport and 10 more will arrive on September 1.

  • Brit passenger forced to isolate in Greece after being thrown off Jet2 flight

The country is now in the "amber zone" with 16.4 cases per 100,000, according to travel expert Paul Charles.

Mr Charles says that while Italy still remains in the "green zone" cases have gone from seven to 13 in a week sparking fears it could also join Spain and France on the quarantine list.

A seven-day rate of 20 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people is the threshold above which the UK Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

  • Coronavirus

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