Why isn't Portugal an air bridge country?
The Department for Transport yesterday updated its list of over 70 countries Brits can travel to without needing to quarantine.
But there’s one regular holiday destination that hasn’t made the cut; Portugal.
It was thought that they would be added to the list of so-called air bridge countries – particularly due to their popularity among UK tourists – alongside Spain, Italy, and Greece.
And its exclusion was blasted by Portuguese officials, with the country’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva tweeting that the decision was ‘not backed by facts.’
Why is Portugal not included on the air bridge list?
Countries like Slovenia, Estonia, and St. Vincent were among five he countries added this week to the quarantine-free travel corridor list.
This will come into effect for travellers entering the UK from these countries as of Monday.
The decision has caused confusion, as Portugal’s current infection rate has been shown to be lower than that of Spain or other air bridge countries.
Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva tweeted that the move ‘is neither substantiated nor backed by the facts.’
It appears that it may have something to do with a slew of outbreaks in capital Lisbon, although the effects on tourism will be felt more in regions such as the Algarve.
What do I do if I have a holiday booked to Portugal?
The list of air bridges is officially updated monthly, although the Ministry for Transport did comment that it sometimes ‘changes weekly (if necessary), to reflect the changing panorama of international health.’
Depending on when your holiday is booked for, there’s a chance Portugal may be added as a travel corridor by then.
If not, you’re still allowed to travel there as long as you aren’t experiencing coronavirus symptos. However, when you get back, you’ll need to follow certain rules.
The main rule is that you must self-isolate for 14 days on your return. You’ll have to fill out a passenger locator form and submit it at the border so officials can check you quarantine once for the required time.
At this stage, every trip is on a case by case basis, so speak to your travel provider if your holiday is already booked, and get assurance from agents is you are booking regarding insurance or alternative plans.
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