Coronvirus latest: PORTUGAL was on Thursday relegated to Britain's "amber list" after ministers sounded the alarm that a worrying new "Nepal mutation" of the Indian variant was detected in the holiday hotspot.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this afternoon sent thousands of travel plans up in smoke by advising Brits NOT to go to the popular destination - and making returning passengers self-isolate.
Confirming the move - first revealed by the Sun - Mr Shapps warned it was unclear if the UK's vaccines could beat the so-called Nepal mutation.
Whitehall sources said Public Health England were also scrambling to assess if the emerging strain is more infectious.
Mr Shapps also pointed to doubling infection rates in Portugal and stressed he was taking the cautious step to give Brits a fighting chance of celebrating Freedom Day on June 21.
He insisted: "It's safety first to get our unlock done at home"
He said: "We just don't know the potential for that to be a vaccine-defeating mutation and simply don't want to take the risk as we come up to June 21 and the review of the fourth stage of the unlock."
Amid a furious backlash from hard-hit airlines, the minister acknowledged the industry had "suffered" but defended his "difficult by decisive decision".
It is a bitter blow for holidaymakers who made bookings after Portugal became one of the only European hotpots on the green list from May 17.
Thursday's decision to turn it amber means anyone coming back will now have to isolate for ten days when they get home.
Anyone coming into the country will already have to show a negative Covid test, and pay for more in the days after they land back in Britain.
If they are negative, people will be released from quarantine and can go out of their homes again.
But those on the red list will have to stay in designated hotel quarantine facilities when they come back to the UK.
And they will be forced to use different terminals too so they don't mix with other passengers in the airport.
Meanwhile, no countries are being added to the green list in a further gut punch for Brits aching for a post-pandemic getaway.
It means their list of potential holiday destinations are limited to a handful of places like Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
Portugal taken OFF green list and slapped on amber amid ‘concerning’ Nepal mutation of Indian variant
From Brexit breaking news to HD movie trailers, The Sun newspaper brings you the latest news videos and explainers from the UK and around the world.
Become a Sun Subscriber and hit the bell to be the first to know
Read The Sun: www.thesun.co.uk
Like The Sun on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesun/
Follow The Sun on Twitter: twitter.com/TheSun
Subscribe to The Sun on Snapchat: www.snapchat.com/discover/The_Sun/1633225139