Britons 'most welcome' in Portugal this summer, says Portuguese foreign minister
With our summer holidays hanging in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Portuguese government has announced British people are “most welcome” in the country this summer.
This development comes after Italy announced that British tourists could now travel to the country with no quarantine restrictions, but British people will still be required to quarantine for 14-days on their return.
Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal's foreign minister, said he hoped a plan could be put in place for an air bridge by the end of June.
An air bridge - which has also been referred to as a “travel corridor” - means that people may not have to self-isolate when returning from the UK if they’re returning from a country with low coronavirus cases.
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The reason that only some countries will be treated to the lack of quarantine measures is directly because of the rate of infection in these countries.
Portugal’s death rate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic remained low, although the country did have a full lockdown much like the UK.
More information about the quarantine measures for British people were announced today and will come into play from 8 June.
Arrivals to the UK will be asked to fill in a “contact locator form” which will include details on where they plan to isolate and how they can be contacted.
A review of the measures and how they’re working will take place on 28 June, three weeks after they start.
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Although this is encouraging for people in the UK who are desperate to jet off on their summer holidays, the 14-day quarantine period will make holidaying abroad unattainable for many.
After all, a one week holiday will now require a total of three weeks off work, unless that person has the ability to work solely from home.
Speaking about the possibility of a travel corridor between the UK and less affected countries, home secretary, Priti Patel said they will be agreed as and when with the countries concerned.
“We need to ensure that those countries are deemed to be safe. We are not alone in our fight against this disease, or the measures we have taken to stop it.”
These measures, teamed with the government’s track and trace system will - hopefully - give Britons greater visibility to move around as we ease out of the lockdown restrictions.
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Santos Silva described quarantine restrictions as “an enemy of tourism” but admitted he respected the UK’s decision.
Despite welcoming British people back to the country, our holidays might look a bit different to normal as he announces there will be “rules” in place.
The nightlife in Portuguese resorts is one of the areas expected to be greatly affected.
Santos Silva said that resorts would be limited and people wouldn’t be able to congregate at night.
Tourists will also be given warnings about how full beaches are so they can look elsewhere if social distancing would be difficult on their chosen beach.