Portugal will reopen its borders to UK tourists from Monday - despite the country deciding to continue its current level of coronavirus lockdown restrictions until the end of May.
The announcement follows concerns that thousands of trips booked after the country was put on the UK Government’s green travel list would be cancelled.
There were also concerns from fans of Manchester City and Chelsea, who will contest the Champions League final in Porto on 29 May.
The uncertainty was caused by Portugal’s ministers deciding to extend restrictions until 30 May at the earliest.
However, tourist body Visit Portugal said the minister of state for foreign affairs has confirmed that UK tourists who have had a negative PCR test within the previous 72 hours will be welcomed from Monday.
Huge demand for trips to Portugal
UK holiday firms have experienced huge demand for trips to Portugal since the UK Government confirmed holidaymakers from England will not be required to self-isolate on their return from visits to the country.
EasyJet has added 105,000 extra seat to its flights serving green-tier destinations, while Tui plans to use aircraft which normally operate long-haul routes to accommodate the surge of people booked to fly to Portugal.
What the travel industry said
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “It’s green for go from Monday.
“Overseas travel will restart as scheduled in the Prime Minister’s road map and well done to Portugal for making it happen.
“Travel can be done safely and responsibly.
“We now need to see a wider green list from the start of June.”
EasyJet said in a statement: “We welcome the decision from the Portuguese government meaning that those travelling from the UK will be allowed to travel safely to Portugal from Monday.
“We look forward to reuniting friends and family and taking customers on a long-awaited holiday this summer.”
But Simon Cooper, chief executive of online travel agent On the Beach, said the situation “illustrates precisely why now is not the time to encourage new holiday bookings for this summer”.
The company stopped selling summer holidays on Wednesday due to a lack of “certainty or clarity” in relation to travel rules.
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