Covid: Is Portugal allowing UK tourists as Lisbon extends ‘state of calamity’?

Holidays to Portugal look increasing uncertain despite the country’s ‘green list’ status as it extended its Covid «state of calamity» until at least May 30.

ITV News understands Portugal intended to reopen to Brits on Monday, but that a final announcement is expected later on Friday.

The UK’s «stay in the UK» restriction will lift on May 17, with Portugal among a handful of countries that British holidaymakers can visit without having to quarantine on their return.

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

But guidance published on the Portuguese Government’s website on Thursday stated that ministers had approved a move to continue the current level of lockdown.

Portuguese MP Cristovao Norte told BBC Breakfast on Friday he did not know whether Britons will be allowed to visit the country from Monday.

He said there was «no reasons, nor political or scientific reasons to maintain restrictions for travel from the UK to Portugal.”

During the “state of calamity”, entry to Portugal is only allowed if you are a returning resident, according to information on the FCDO website.

Portugal is a popular destination for holidaymakers. Credit: Pexels

Mr Norte, an MP for the Algarve, said: «We are today going to make an urgent inquiry asking the (Portuguese) government whether or not the English travel can come to Portugal next Monday because we are three days ahead from 17th and no one is sure what is going to happen.

Mr Norte added: «Our vaccination process is going steadily and it is important a decision is taken immediately.

Portuguese Cabinet office minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said on Thursday that under current plans for the Champions League final, a series of restrictions to British fans would apply.

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.

Portugal is a popular destination for holidaymakers. Credit: Pexels

As well as the limit on ticket sales, fans will have to fly in on charter planes, arriving and leaving «on the same day», according to the BBC.

Ms Vieira da Silva described the plans as «a bubble situation», with fans passing through a separate zone at the airport and needing a negative coronavirus test before travelling.

Guidance from the Department of Transport warns that many green list countries still have restrictions on UK travellers.

It advises passengers to check all entry and testing requirements and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for Portugal before booking travel.

It is understood the UK government has been in discussion with Portuguese representatives this week to discuss plans to unlock travel between the two countries.

Faro in Portugal is one of the most popular destinations. Credit: Unsplash

Entry to non-residents is limited to essential purposes from the UK and other non-EU countries, and EU or European Economic Area countries where the case rate is above 150 cases per 100,000 residents.

«Essential purposes» are defined as travelling to live with immediate family members or professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.

To enter Portugal, proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken with 72 hours of departure is required.

Those without proof of a negative test can be refused permission to board a flight, or may be forced to quarantine in government-approved accommodation upon arrival.

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