The latest advice on holidays abroad to Portugal this summer
As one of the few countries on the Government’s ‘ green list ’, which allows for quarantine-free travel, many British holidaymakers had set their sights on jetting off to Portugal on their summer holidays next week, when coronavirus restrictions are set to lift.
However, those plans have now been thrown into jeopardy.
Portugal’s government has announced that it has chosen to retain tight Covid restrictions, extending the “state of calamity” (Portugal’s second highest level of alert) for a further 15 days, until Monday, May 30, 2021.
While technically travellers will be allowed to fly to Portugal for non-essential reasons from Monday onwards, it is uncertain whether they will actually be allowed in by the Portuguese authorities.
A Portuguese cabinet office minister, Mariana Vieira da Silva, reportedly said that she had “no information to give yet”, when she was questioned on whether the travel restrictions are likely to be lifted.
In a comment reported by the BBC, she said: “Work is going on, and as soon as there is a decision it will be announced” – but that no decision was made in this morning’s cabinet meeting.
The decision to extend the restrictions is highly diplomatically delicate.
As a senior Portuguese official told The Times , if a decision isn’t made soon, “thousands of British visitors could be turned away at the airport.”
Will I be able to fly to Portugal?
Currently, from Monday onwards UK travellers will be able to fly to Portugal, as non-essential travel will be permitted.
However, currently non-residents are only permitted to enter the country if their travel is essential.
A Covid test is also required 72 hours before departure, and even those with a negative result can be refused boarding and asked to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
Portuguese officials have given no indication of when this is set to change, so British holidaymakers should be advised to prepare for the worst.
This is the latest development in a long series of upsets for holidaymakers this year.
According to a recent YouGov poll, just 11% of Brits feel confident that they can have ‘a normal summer holiday’ this year.
How many countries are on the UK’s green list?
The UK Government has created a “ green list ” of 12 destinations which won’t require you to self-isolate when you return to the UK.
A number of countries on the green list still won’t admit UK visitors, but the ones who will include Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Israel, Gibraltar and Portugal.
As one of the few sunny and affordable destinations on the list, Portugal has been a popular choice of holiday destination this year.
UK travellers are one of Portugal’s biggest markets for tourism, so this decision is set to vastly impact local businesses, as well as travellers.
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