Can I travel to Portugal? Coronavirus holiday advice, quarantine rules and air bridge plans

PORTUGAL holidays could happen after all with a potential air bridge between the country and the UK to be introduced.

The UK government released the full list of 'safe' countries earlier this month, which lowered the travel ban and stopped the quarantine restrictions when returning to the UK.

Portugal, despite wanting the two million Brits who visit every year back, has been excluded from the list.

The country has seen a spike in cases, particularly in Lisbon, leading to the holiday travel corridor snub.

Portugal officials have previously slammed the decision, with Home affairs minister Eduardo Cabrita previously telling local media: "Portugal has better public health indicators and better pandemic response indicators than the United Kingdom.

"So there's no reason, according to all the comparative criteria, for the existence of any application of quarantine rules on return to the United Kingdom."

However, this could soon change – the popular holiday destination looks likely to be added to the list of 59 to which travel is possible without the need to isolate on return.

A source told The Telegraph: "Regional air bridges are an option for countries with localised outbreaks."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government would be making "more announcements" on international travel, following a review on Monday next week.

He told Sky News: "I will be talking more about the way forward on things like international travel corridors then."

Here is everything you need to know about travelling to Portugal this summer.

Can I travel to Portugal on holiday now?

Travelling to Portugal is not advised as you will still need to quarantine for two weeks when returning to the UK.

The UK Foreign Office still warns against non-essential travel to mainland Portugal – this is not the same for Madeira or the Azores, where the advisory has been lifted.

Tourists in mainland Portugal will require a health screening on arrival while Madeira will enforce a a 72-hour-prior-arrival coronavirus test or test on arrival, waiting 12 hours at accommodation.

The Azores will also need a 72-hour-prior-arrival negative coronavirus or a test on arrival, waiting 48 hours in quarantine.

Holidays longer than a week will require the test again after six days.

What are the current restrictions in Portugal I need to know about?

Authorities are recommending face masks are worn in public places which are indoors, such as restaurants and shops.

A curfew is currently in place from 8pm in some parts of Lisbon after the spike in coronavirus cases, while gatherings are limited to just 10 people.

Beaches have reopened to tourists, however, along with hotels in other parts of the country.

The Algarve has introduced new safety measures at beaches, including traffic light systems to show the capacity levels, while sun umbrellas are 3m apart.

Are flights running to Portugal?

Ryanair and easyJet have resumed limited flights to Portugal after months of being grounded.

Faro, Portugal and Lisbon routes are all available from the UK.

Wizz Air relaunched flights to Portugal from London Luton in June.

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