Portugal is an especially popular holiday destination with Britons who visit holiday hotspots such as the Algarve and Lisbon regularly. But this year the sunny holiday spot has been off limits due to coronavirus. On July 4, the government unveiled its “air bridge” plans.
- Portugal holidays: Portugal entry requirements change – FCO update
From today, multiple countries will be available for Britons to visit without facing England’s stringent lockdown rules on their return.
However, despite being a firm favourite of the British people, Portugal is not included on the list.
Other countries such as France, Italy and Spain have all made the cut but it is believed that Portugal is still exempt because of its sudden spike in coronavirus cases.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the president of the Turismo de Portugal has said that despite being exempt from the list, Britons are still “100 percent welcome” and won’t need to quarantine when they visit.
Luis Araujo, who heads up the national tourism authority in Portugal said the airports in the country are open with special measures in place.
Some of the new measures include UV equipment for disinfection, contactless checkout and camera systems that scan temperatures.
Mr Araujo admitted that he thought the UK government’s decision to not include Portugal on the list of exempt countries was “bewildering”.
But he added: “Several Portuguese officials have been vocal in sharing their disappointment and rationale behind why we felt this decision was not a true reflection on the situation here in Portugal.
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“Now we must respect the privacy of the ongoing discussions between the UK and Portuguese government to come to a revised decision upon review.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) explained Portugal’s entry requirements and the UK’s advice on travelling to Portugal.
The website reads: “From 4 July, Madeira and the Azores are exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.
“This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
“However, the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, remains in place.”
Madeira and the Azores are also asking that people have proof of a negative coronavirus test completed within the past 72 hours.
Madeira is offering a free test on arrival for visitors.
The FCO added: “You will be subject to health screening on arrival [to Portugal].
“Your temperature will be checked and if it is high or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities at the airport.
“You may be required to take a COVID-19 test and to self-isolate at your accommodation until the test results are known.”
Portugal has had over 45,200 cases of coronavirus and over 1,600 deaths.
The Turismo de Portugal (Portugal’s tourism office) has been contacted by Express.co.uk for comment.
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