Tourists are welcome in Portugal this summer.
The Iberian peninsula is looking like the place to be this summer, as Portugal has joined neighbours Spain in announcing that tourists won’t need to quarantine when visiting. As another European country keen to restart their crucial tourist economy, Portugal – like Italy and Greece – will be open for tourists this summer, and the lack of quarantine is likely to make it an attractive option for UK visitors.
In an interview with Observador, Portugal’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva stressed that “to tourists who come by air, Portugal will not impose a quarantine”, instead focusing on “minimal health controls” to keep travellers and locals safe. In fact, although the border with Spain is currently closed until June 15, those arriving by air are welcome in the country right now – although UK foreign office guidance and reduced flight numbers are likely to affect any hasty getaways.
Still, for a late-summer getaway, Portugal is looking pretty nice, with the twin beauties of Lisbon and Porto an ever-attractive option, and the coast of the Algarve being a firm favourite with UK tourists. Some 20% of visitors to Portugal last year were Brits, making UK visitors a crucial sector of the nation’s tourism economy. Equally important is the fact Portugal managed to sidestep the worst of the pandemic, allowing them to reopen restaurants and cafes this month, with hotels set to join them on June 1. Meanwhile, the sweeping beaches of the Atlantic coast will be back in business on June 6, although they’ll make use of social distancing rules such as 1.5 metres between sunbathers, and a traffic light system to indicate how full the beach is, which will be trackable via an app.
It’s all looking very promising, especially since Reuters are reporting that the UK and Portuguese governments are currently in dialogue over an “air bridge” between the two countries, which would allow tourists to travel between the two countries without the need to quarantine. If talks prove successful (and they’re reportedly only at an early stage), this would negate the need for UK travellers to quarantine upon their return home, and make a jaunt to Portugal one of the easiest post-pandemic holidays currently on offer. Exciting stuff!
Also published on Medium.