Portugal has confirmed it will allow British holidaymakers from Monday, as revealed in Travel Gossip earlier today.
The Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs announced today that entry restrictions will be lifted from midnight on Sunday.
Everyone will be required to take a PCR COVID test 72 hours before arrival.
Portugal also announced that it has been stepping up testing capacity to meet the needs of holidaymakers.
In a statement released shortly after midday today, the Portuguese National Tourist Office said essential travel restrictions will be revoked on Monday.
It added that it has also been ensuring that testing capacity in Portugal will meet the demand from tourists.
The news will come as a relief to tour operators, including TUI, and airlines, such as easyJet, which have customers due to fly out to Portugal from Monday.
It will also mean that football fans should be able to fly out to the Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea due to be held in Porto on 29 May.
Speaking shortly after it was announced that British tourists will be allowed into Portugal from 17 May, President of Algarve Tourism Joao Fernandes said: “We are delighted with the news and we are of course very ready to welcome British visitors to the Algarve. With 48.5% of our international visitors arriving at Faro airport from the UK in a typical year, the absence of British visitors was noticed and missed last summer.
“Flights are resuming and British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair are all adding extra flights to Faro to meet demand. Our hotels are prepared and offering some great packages.
“We also want to reassure visitors that tourism businesses are operating with health and safety protocols in place. Most have signed up to our ‘Clean & Safe’ Campaign, which means they follow our guidelines for keeping staff and customers safe.
“We look forward to welcoming British visitors again.”
Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said welcomed the news Portugal will reopen on Monday, saying: “It is wonderful news that Portugal has now confirmed it will be welcoming back British visitors, including those for leisure travel from midnight on 17 May 2021. Portugal is a key summer destination for the UK market and it is a hugely important destination for many of our members who now have some product that they can sell for imminent travel.
“This goes to show that the discussions and decisions on whether countries will allow visitors in, despite them being on the UK’s ‘Green List’ are incredibly complex, and the speculation around these decisions creates a lot of anxiety and distress for both consumers and our travel agent members. We remain positive that this is the first step to safely reopening travel and hopefully more destinations will be classified as green so that the industry can make the most of the forthcoming summer season.”