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Health

UK says always reviewing quarantine data, no comment on Portugal shift

A woman wearing a protective mask walks along a street, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in downtown Lisbon, Portugal September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will keep its quarantine policy under review, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, but declined to comment on media reports that Portugal will be added back onto the government’s no-go list due to rising case numbers.

Britain introduced a quarantine policy for badly hit countries in June, after it was initially criticised for being too slow to lock down at the beginning of the pandemic.

After opening travel corridors to the most popular holiday destinations such as France, Spain and Greece, it reimposed 14-day quarantine requirements on France, Spain and others as COVID-19 cases began to rise once again.

Travel restrictions for Portugal were only lifted for British travellers on Aug. 12, prompting many to book last-minute holidays there. Media reports said the number of daily cases there meant the country may be forced back on to the quarantine list again.

“We keep the data for all countries and territories under constant review. I’m not going to pre-empt any potential changes,” Johnson’s spokesman said when asked about the reports.

Reporting by William James, Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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