Air bridges: Portugal excluded?

Portugal notable in its absence from list

Air bridges: Portugal excluded? 1

The Guardian reports this morning that mainland Portugal may have temporarily spoilt the return of British tourists to Madeira. They headline that ‘Air bridges’ to European holiday destinations could open soon, but Portugal is missing from their list of countries where deals may be agreed: “Britons may be able to go on holiday to a number of “core” European countries including Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Turkey and Croatia if talks succeed in creating “air bridges” where people do not have to quarantine on their return”. 

They conjecture that Ministers are in talks to create “air bridges” with a number of “core” European countries including Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Turkey and Croatia to let holidaymakers go abroad this summer without having to quarantine on their return. Austria and Germany are also among the countries officials are considering. It is possible an announcement could be made before next week’s review of the quarantine rules, giving the travel industry time to prepare.

The countries being considered to share an air bridge must have a small enough rate of infection to allow British people to travel there and back without having to undergo 14 days of self-isolation on their return.

The British government is to waive quarantine for people travelling between the UK and some countries with a low risk of Covid-19 infection, but it is uncertain whether Portugal will be included on the list.

The Portugal News reports “intense debate”

The online version of the Portugal News today reports that “the UK is close to finalising a list of 10 countries to which it is deemed safe for British tourists to travel without having to isolate for two weeks on their return, as is currently the case, but Portugal is said to be the subject of “intense debate” due to the recent outbreak in the Algarve”.

Initially, as soon as air bridges were first mooted, Portugal was regarded as a favourite to be one of the first.

7 thoughts on “Air bridges: Portugal excluded?”

    • Quite! I was listening to R4 Today this morning and the interview with someone from Greece, forget his designation, who was really keen to have holidaymakers from the U.K. and thinking why? Why would you want to risk importing it from a country that has more cases than your own? He was asked about how safe the Brits would feel going there. A more pertinent question would have been how safe is it for the Greeks to have Brits flying in!

      I also heard about the conjecture about Portugal and thinking, of that came to pass, how sad and unfair for Madeira, which has managed this crisis so well.

      • Completely agreed.The feeling in Algarve is exactly the same in respect to British tourists-we apprehend a mass arrival.You only need to see the mass gatherings in Britain and the lack of discipline. Eg Brixton and Bournemouth!!
        It is however a blow to the Portugese tourist industry.

  1. The word used by The Guardian is ‘conjecture’ which is a posh word for ‘guess’. So much fake news circulating and all we can do is wait for the official announcement.

  2. It’s a joke. I am desperate to visit Portugal and feel safer there than in the UK. I don’t understand the rationale behind this as Portugal have handled the pandemic so much better than the UK. Also not including Portugal but being able to fly into Spain is a farce. Do they not realise you could just drive over the border into Portugal anyway.

    • It’s because they did it ok the infections per capita and although the number of cases is low – the population is small – so the per capita is high. The main factor is that Portugal have been testing double the number the uk have – including those with no symptoms. In fact the recent surge in infections had no symptoms a peak that the uk wouldn’t have even noticed. Therefore you are not comparing like with like and it’s hardly scientific. Really I think fear and uncertainty can bring out the worst of people – they should all stop arguing and playing politics. The only thing me and my family have to loon forward to us our holiday to Portugal on the 15th of July which we already had to reschedule as they moved the Scottish term times. We will be devastated if this doesn’t go through 🙁

  3. Re Alex’s point above, the problem is NOT flying direct to Portugal – there is no BAN on doing that – but arriving back in the UK without showing that you have come back from Portugal (if it’s not on the Green list). His point about using Spain as an entry point to Portugal carries no weight. Reverse it (ie, use Spain as the exit point to Britain) and bingo!


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