COVID-19: Portugal confirms UK tourists with negative coronavirus test allowed to travel from Monday

Portugal has confirmed that tourists from the UK will be able to travel to the country from Monday.

The country’s foreign affairs minister has said anyone arriving from 17 May must have had a negative PCR result within the previous 72 hours.

Existing travel restrictions on travel into the country from Britain will end on Sunday, the minister confirmed in a statement released by Portugal’s tourist board, Visit Portugal.

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A group of young people wearing face masks chat at a viewpoint overlooking Lisbon's old centre. Pic: AP
Portugal is one of the few options for travellers seeking a quick sunny break. Pic: AP

It follows earlier uncertainty after the Portuguese government extended its “state of calamity”.

It later emerged that this was in relation to domestic issues with coronavirus which could involve local lockdowns or mandatory mask wearing in some settings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that as of 17 May the “stay in the UK” restriction will lift, meaning people will be able to travel to green list countries such as Portugal without self-isolating on their return.

The latest announcement will come as a relief for holiday firms which have reported huge demand for trips to Portugal following the publication of the green list.

Visit Portugal said it had put together a COVID register of 22,400 businesses and 23,000 tourism workers to create “another layer of the trust and transparency strategy which Portugal has been implementing to manage the pandemic.”

“People from the United Kingdom have visited Portugal and celebrated our culture, traditions, landmarks, history, and enjoyed our warm hospitality for decades,” it added.

“We look forward to welcome all travellers coming from the UK. “

EasyJet has added 105,000 extra seats 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 there.

Thousands of British football fans are hoping to travel to Porto in mainland Portugal for the all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on 29 May.

UEFA previously confirmed that 6,000 tickets would be made available to each of the finalists, with the final capacity limit at the Estadio do Dragao still to be fixed.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “It’s green for go from Monday.

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“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.”

Portugal is the only southern European country to so far make Britain’s green list of quarantine-free destinations.

In neighbouring Spain, trade and tourism minister Reyes Maroto said her government is in “constant” consultations with Britain to try to have its travel status upgraded.

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