Portugal holidays in jeopardy as country may be left off air-bridge list

Portugal faces being left off the list of countries the UK will have ‘air bridges’ with, it emerged today.

The shock news is a blow to holidaymakers hoping to travel to Lisbon or other popular spots this summer.

It comes as the UK is expected to announce a list of countries in Europe where Brits will soon be allowed to travel quarantine free.

Travel abroad is expected to restart next month

These ‘air bridges’ will also allow foreign tourists to visit the UK without having to quarantine.

The list has been widely predicted to include Brit favourite’s Spain, Greece, France and Italy.

International travel is expected to restart on July 4, with a potential list of up to 50 nations.

But the Telegraph reports that Portugal may not have made the initial list, despite officials reportedly being close to a deal.

However officials seemingly remain positive that a deal can be struck.

Luis Araujo, President of Turismo de Portugal, told Telegraph Travel : “The Portuguese government and tourism officials remain in constant discussion with the British government regarding air bridge agreements and conversations continue to progress well.

“At this stage it would not be sensible nor rational to speculate as to which countries will be included in a bilateral travel arrangement until an official announcement is made on the 29th June by the UK government.

“We fully respect the date given by the UK government for an announcement to be made and we do not intend to undermine this be speculating on the outcome beforehand.”

The country currently has 12,678 active cases and has recorded 1,555 deaths.

Recent spikes in infection in Lisbon and on the Algarve have reportedly stoked fears that the country may not be included in any travel deal yet.

Lockdown measures are now being reintroduced in parts of Greater Lisbon from 1 July to 14 July.

Those affected will only be allowed to leave home to purchase food or medication, or to travel to and from work.

In response to Portugal potentially being left off the list, journalist Natasha Donn said it was bad news for authorities who have been working hard on new safety coronavirus measures.

In the Algarve Resident, she wrote: “It’s an absolute body-blow to authorities who have pulled out all the stops to market tourist destinations as ‘Covid-safe’.”

The Government is expected to announce measures today, although Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said the list will be revealed on Monday when the quarantine measures will be officially reviewed.

But the travel industry body Abta urged the Government to set out its plans “as soon as possible” to allow businesses and customers to plan ahead.

An Abta spokesman said: “The process of sending people on holiday is not like turning on a tap. As much advance notice as possible from the Government is required for travel companies to restart operations.”


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