Last year, due to late Quarantine Restrictions/Rules put in place by the UK government for visitors from Portugal, we were unable to attend this event & lost almost €1000 in flights & related costs (don’t get me started on Ryanair!) which we had pre-booked before the pandemic took hold. Consequently this year we held off booking our flights & the event itself as we didn’t want to be caught out again with such heavy financial losses, & boy were we glad we did! Although the Quarantine Restrictions seemed to have been phased out, they have been replaced by the mandated PCR Testing, which obliges us to have one test here in Portugal before we fly out; one in the UK two days after arriving; & yet another two days before returning to Portugal - costing €400-€500! To add insult to injury although we are both FULLY Covid vaccinated, the UK in their infinite wisdom do not seem to recognise the green EU Covid Digital Certificate, which attests to the fact that we’ve had the vaccination. Absolute madness!

What makes the matter even more ludicrous is that the Portuguese Tourist Board are now virtually begging UK citizens to holiday in Portugal - without having to adhere to the same strict rules applied to those of us wishing to fly to the UK! The article also hints/alludes that visitors from the UK should be allowed to come here after having had only one of their two Covid Vaccinations!

What’s more, Social Distancing and Wearing of Face Masks has been strictly enforced and adhered to here in Portugal virtually since day one of the Pandemic, but I’m sad to say that visitors from UK (& Ireland) seem to think that these life saving rules don’t apply to them. I have lost count of the times recently where these visitors look dumbfounded when they are told in shops, restaurants and on public transport that unless they adhere to these rules they will not be able to avail themselves of these facilities. The same is true when you approach them on the street or crowded public areas & they seem to believe that their nose & mouth is located on their elbow, as this is where their masks firmly remain in place! Where have these people been for the last 18-24 months, the planet Zog!

I was born, raised, had our family & worked (for a Government department may I add) in the UK, before retiring early & moving abroad, & have always been proud to be British, but the more I see the way the UK is behaving especially with regards to this matter, the less proud I have become. Why is the land of my birth making it impossibly extortionately expensive for us to return there once a year to holiday with friends & acquaintances as we have done for over 40 years!? And why oh why do visitors from the UK get treated so much better when they arrive here in Portugal & seem to ignore all but the most basic of rules relating to Covid?

M.Power, Tavira,
By Email