Travel advice from ABTA Magazine as tourism restarts.
More than 2.8million Britons visited Portugal in 2018, making it among the UK’s most popular destinations – although way behind its neighbour Spain, which had 15.6 million visitors from the UK. However, most people are concentrated in one area – according to research by LoveHolidays, the Algarve is the fourth most popular region for British holidaymakers anywhere in the world, behind only Majorca, Antalya and Tenerife.
As lockdown continues to ease, the government has revealed a list of 74 countries from which inbound tourist and returning travellers do not need to self-isolate (also known as the travel corridors list) – ending its blanket 14-day quarantine policy. However, it is not necessarily the case that Britons can enter the countries on the exemptions list without needing to quarantine, or that flights are even currently available (research suggests as little as a third of the countries can be visited without restrictions). Although firm favourites France, Spain and Italy made it on to lists revealed by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Transport (DfT), the USA and Portugal were notable exceptions. Scotland has released its list of exemptions – which is the same as the UK list, but with Spain and Serbia omitted.
Portugal had to wait until late August to be added to the travel corridor list, but was removed a few weeks later, meaning returning travellers and inbound tourists now need to quarantine on arrival in the UK from September 12. This does not apply to the islands of Madeira or the Azores. The FCDO also advises against all non-essential international travel to mainland Portugal.
On arrival in mainland Portugal passengers will be subject to health screening. If travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores, visitors must take a Covid-19 test before they travel or on arrival.
Travel data and analytics expert Cirium notes that there are a total of 75 routes from the UK to Portugal, operated by seven carriers: Ryanair, British Airways, Jet2, easyJet, TUI Airways, TAP Portugal, Wizz Air.