Here’s why Portugal is excluded from the travel corridor list - and if you can still travel there
The Government recently revealed a list of more than 50 countries deemed safe enough for holidaymakers to travel to, without having to quarantine when they return to England.
However, Portugal is not included in the travel corridor list, meaning that those returning from Portugal would have to quarantine for 14 days if they do decide to travel there.
Why is Portugal excluded from the list?
Portugal’s number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants is currently the second highest in Europe, according to data from the EU’s disease control centre.
Although Portugal says this is due to its high testing rate, more than 12 other countries have also imposed restrictions on travel from Portugal, as a high count of several hundred new coronavirus cases per day in the past month - mainly on the outskirts of Lisbon - concerns authorities
However, this has angered Portugal’s tourism sector as the country being excluded from the list and travellers having to quarantine on return will be a major deterrent for British tourists.
Raul Martins, head of Portugal’s Hotel Association, said, “The outbreak is in peripheral Lisbon where there are no hotels, no tourist restaurants. It has been poorly explained to the British.”
João Fernandes, head of the Algarve’s tourism authority, said, “We were penalised for speaking the truth at a time when it is important to be transparent”.
Can I still travel to Portugal?
Although Portugal not being included on the travel corridor list doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t travel there, the FCO is still warning against “all but essential international travel” to the country, invalidating your travel insurance and meaning that you may find it difficult to get help from the embassy or consulate if things go wrong while away.
The FCO says that travel advice “is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.”
Hotels in Portugal have been able to open for tourists throughout June, with campsites and motorhome parks also now open to visitors, provided that capacity and hygiene measures are met. Airbnb properties are also up and running.
A ‘Clean and Safe’ stamp, which has been created by Portugal's tourist board Turismo de Portugal, certifies which hotels have put into place enhanced hygiene and safety measures.
However, the FCO warning against “all but essential international travel” has been eased for the Azores and Madeira.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said, “From 4 July, Madeira and the Azores are exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”
However, those returning to the UK from the Azores and Madeira will still have to self-isolate for 14 days.
If travelling to Madeira or the Azores, you must take a Covid-19 test either before you travel or on arrival.