UK Portugal “air bridge”?

Arrangement would get round quarantine rules

Portugal, where an air bridge could be established

Portugal’s Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, is quoted by the BBC this morning as saying that an “air bridge” agreement between the UK and Portugal could be in place by the end of June. It appears that discussions may have already taken place between governments.

Under such an air bridge arrangement holidaymakers would not be subject to a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival back in the UK, due to the low level of COVID-19 infections in the country.

Santo Silva is quoted as saying that any travel quarantine “was an enemy of tourism”, but that he respected the UK government’s decision to enforce one on almost all arrivals to the UK from next Monday.

Mr Santos Silva said “rules” would ensure that people would be able to holiday safely. Santos one option, reported here, is to warn tourists how full beaches are so that they can avoid crowded spots.

The minister suggested that nightlife in Portuguese resorts this summer will be very limited and people would not be allowed to congregate in groups at night. He said hotels and apartments which comply with standards set by the tourism board would be accredited under the “Clean and Safe” scheme.

The Portuguese Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, was recently reported to be fairly bullish about the prospects for tourism this summer, saying that he belived that “Portugal was on the radar of European tourists”. He believed that it was important to restore air links with the rest of Europe, but did not mention an “air bridge” arrangement with the UK.

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