Portugal has confirmed that an “air bridge” with the UK could be in place by the end of June.
The country’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva said anyone in the UK wanting to holiday in Portugal this summer would be “most welcome”.
And he confirmed that talks on the matter were ongoing with the UK.
Mr Santos Silva said that he was hopeful that an air bridge between the UK and Portugal could be secured by the end of June.
This would also allow Brits who visit the country to bypass the new quarantine regulations that they will face on return.
And Mr Santos Silva insisted that Portugal would not impose any type of mandatory quarantine for people visiting.
Instead, he said that temperature checks will be carried out at airports and that travellers would face random health checks.
The foreign minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “quarantine is an enemy of tourism”.
He went on: “During these weeks our diplomats will work together in order to guarantee that British tourists coming to Portugal would not be subjected on their return to England to any kind of quarantine.”
It comes as the UK is set to impose a controversial 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving in the country.
The plans, coming into force on June 8, will see people forced to isolate for 14 days or face a fin to prevent coronavirus cases being introduced from overseas.
Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to set out the controversial scheme to MPs today – amid calls for it to be scrapped.
Reports suggest Boris Johnson is in favour of air bridges.
Last night, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed that the Government is still looking at the prospect of “air bridges” between the UK and other countries, creating specific exemptions from the quarantine rules.
Tourist industry chiefs have warned that the move will lead to economic disaster and hope that a large number of air bridges will be rolled out on June 29, the first quarantine review date.
The Portuguese government has been successful in its handling of the virus, with 32,895 cases and 1,436 confirmed deaths.
Major airlines including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways have all announced plans to ramp up flight schedules – suggesting they are confident that air bridges will be introduced.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against all non-essential foreign travel.
But Health Minister Edward Argar has said that he hopes people will be able to go on holiday this year.
He told Today: “I’m not going to say a particular date on when that might happen because we will have to be guided by how the disease behaves, controlling any risk of a second wave and controlling the disease.
“I hope that people will be able to go on holiday at some point this year, but I can’t make that promise and because I have to be cautious and go with the science and I don’t have that forward view yet of how a second wave or otherwise might behave.”