Portugal

  1. Covid surges in Med holiday favourites

    ECDC map showing Europe infection rates

    The latest map from the EU’s disease monitoring agency, the ECDC, shows the EU’s new Covid hotspots: Portugal, Spain and Cyprus.

    Most parts of those countries have infection rates above 120 per 100,000 people, registered over the past 14 days. The more contagious Delta variant is responsible for this, health officials say.

    Spain’s infection rate nationally has more than doubled in a week, to 252 cases per 100,000. The highest rate is in the 20-29 age group, most of whom have not been vaccinated.

    Spain's Catalonia region has reimposed curbs on nightlife and Portugal has reintroduced night curfews. France has warned its citizens against travel to those countries.

    You can see the ECDC’s latest data in full here.

  2. What's the latest around Europe?

    Young tourists sit behind a Coronavirus warning sign outside the walls of Castelo de São Jorge
    Image caption: German tourists have brought forward their return trips from Portugal in a bid to avoid quarantine when they get home

    German travellers returning from Portugal are now having to quarantine for 14 days because of the spread of Covid in recent weeks. A number of holidaymakers booked early flights home to avoid the new restriction, which also applies to travellers from Russia. Germany has recorded another 404 cases in the past 24 hours and the seven-day incidence has fallen to 5.4 cases per 100,000 people.

    The Delta variant which originated in India is now the most prevalent variant in Portugal and authorities there have now introduced a 14-day quarantine for UK travellers who don't have proof of two vaccinations.

    A big outbreak sourced to Spanish end-of-year school trips to Majorca has now led to more than 1,000 Covid cases. Dozens of young people are now being kept in isolation under police guard at the Hotel Palma Bellver which has been dubbed the “Covid hotel”. Spain’s regions have begun speeding up vaccination of people in their 30s in a bid to halt the spread of the Delta variant, and some of the Balearic islands including Ibiza have begun immunising 16-29 year-olds.

    As new cases across Russia climb above 21,000 a day, Moscow and St Petersburg recorded their highest Covid deaths and hospital admissions in 24 hours yesterday. Moscow saw 124 deaths and almost 17,000 hospital admissions while St Petersburg saw 110 more deaths.

    A French study on 90 schoolchildren aged seven to nine has found that lockdown had a significant decline on their health and cognitive abilities. Their body mass index increased and physical fitness fell while cognitive abilities dropped by as much as 40%.

  3. What's the latest around Europe?

    A Police officer stops a car at a checkpoint for control to stop unauthorised travel during a two-day weekend from and to Lisbon"s metropolitan area, to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
    Image caption: For the second weekend in a row, Lisbon's metropolitan area will enforce a travel ban from 15:00 today

    Portugal has tightened Covid restrictions in the capital Lisbon and in Albufeira in the Algarve because of high rates of infection. The two areas join the fishing port of Sesimbra in having weekend closures from 15:30 today for cafes, restaurants and non-essential shopping. A weekend travel ban comes into force in Lisbon today for the second weekend running in an attempt to halt the spread of the Delta variant, with only essential trips allowed or proof of vaccination or negative test.

    In Russia, the eastern Siberia republic of Buryatia has become the first region to go back into lockdown as Covid cases surge. From Sunday until 11 July only essential shops will be open and people will have to work from home. The Covid death rate in Russia has surged by more than 20% in the past week, say officials, and over 20,000 new cases were reported yesterday.

    French health officials say the number of Covid patients treated in intensive care has fallen below 1,500 for the first time since the start of last October. But there are concerns that the vaccination campaign for first doses is beginning to slow down. Even though 700,000 doses are being administered daily, only about 200,000 of those are first vaccinations.

    Top German health official Lothar Wieler has added his voice to criticism of Euro 2020 knockout games taking place at Wembley. “From an infection point of view, this isn’t a good idea,” says the head of the RKI public health institute. Germany play England in London on Tuesday, but Wieler says travel for fans across Europe while the Delta variant is prevalent doesn’t make sense.

    Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has appealed to supporters going to Seville in Spain to see the national team play Portugal on Sunday to take care. “It’s still a red zone and anyone travelling there must respect the rules,” he says.

    Poland is planning a national lottery for people who’ve been vaccinated, to encourage people to get immunised. Officials say there’ll be prizes of up to a million zloty (£190,000; €220,000).

  4. What is the latest around Europe?

    A mask-clad man boards a line 28 tram in Luís de Camões Square during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic on June 14, 2021 in Lisbon,
    Image caption: Workers can still travel in and out of Lisbon if their employer provides a statement

    The Portuguese government has imposed a weekend travel ban on the capital Lisbon in a bid to shield the rest of the country from the spread of Covid. The Lisbon metropolitan area accounts for two-thirds of daily Covid cases - 804 were recorded in the capital yesterday. The travel ban starts at 15:00 today and lasts until 06:00 on Monday. Residents and visitors can only make essential trips in or out. The number of hospital admissions has almost doubled in the capital in three weeks.

    The situation in Russia’s capital Moscow is “rapidly deteriorating” according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. The head of the public health watchdog, Anna Popova, says the biggest rise in cases is among 18-49 year-olds, many of whom "have completely disregarded" Covid safety measures. Vaccinations in the city are now compulsory for 60% of service sector staff – you can read more on this story here.

    Dutch Covid officials have recommended 1.5m (5ft) social distancing should stay in place at least until mid-August but masks will only be required on public transport and in airports after 26 June, reports say. It means by the end of the month people will be allowed to return to work - up to 50% capacity in offices - as long as the 1.5m rule is observed.

    France began enjoying life without masks outdoors yesterday, apart from crowded areas such as queues. "The likelihood of being in contact with someone infectious is a tenth of what is was two months ago," says epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet.

    The Croatian port city of Split is welcoming its first cruise ship for nine months this morning. MSC Splendida is the first of more than 150 cruise ships due to arrive there this summer - half the number the city expects in a peak year.

  5. Video content

    Video caption: Covid: British holidaymakers voice frustration on return from Portugal

    The UK government has placed Portugal on the amber list of countries, which means travellers will have to quarantine for 10 days.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Covid: British holidaymakers return from Portugal

    Travellers speak of their frustration after Portugal was removed from the green list.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: UK tourists 'panicked' to get back from Portugal

    Holidaymakers have been scrambling to get home before Portugal is added to the UK's travel amber list.