Air bridge victory for Portugal

in News · 28-08-2020 01:00:00 · 2 Comments

Portugal is now officially on the air travel corridor list for the UK, meaning that visitors to the country will no longer have to quarantine upon return to the UK, while the country continues to ensure the safety of all visitors and residents through various measures.

UK Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Schapps, revealed on Twitter on 20 August: “Data also shows we can now add Portugal to those countries INCLUDED in Travel Corridors. As with all air bridge countries, please be aware that things can change quickly. Only travel if you are content to unexpectedly 14-day quarantine if required (I speak from experience!)”

Schapps added: “A range of factors taken into account when JBC & Ministers assess Travel Corridors - including but not limited to: estimated prevalence of COVID-19 in a country; the level and rate of change in the incidence of confirmed positive cases; the extent of testing in a country. The testing regime and test positivity; the extent to which cases can be accounted for by a contained outbreak as opposed to more general transmission in the community; government actions; and other relevant epidemiological information.”
Since July, The Portugal News has been campaigning to open the air bridge between the UK and Portugal, to allow tourists to visit Portugal and the Algarve which has consistently shown a positive handling of Covid-19 within the country.

The Portugal News campaign collected over 31,000 signatures in favour of asking the UK government to change their mind and open the air bridge and also encouraged readers in the UK to directly lobby their local MPs to overturn the decision. The campaign was acknowledged by the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who has also been working to lobby the UK on their decision.

The President of the Republic said that the decision of the United Kingdom to remove Portugal from the list of countries was “great news”.
“It is great news. This is great news for the mayors of the Algarve, for many others in other parts of the country, but it is, in the first place, great news for the 300,000 Portuguese who live and work in the United Kingdom”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

In the opinion of the President of the Republic, the opening of the United Kingdom’s air corridor with Portugal is also “great news for the almost 50,000 Britons who live and enjoy living in Portugal, for all those who study and work here, for tourism and those who have long wanted to move from one country to another”.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said several times that “the great news is also for those who hoped and who will now see this possibility satisfied, which is the case in the Algarve, of seeing in September and October many Britons spending their time here on vacation”.
For Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “the fate with the United Kingdom is so important and makes such a difference, that you can’t imagine”.
“It makes as much difference here as it does in Madeira, as in Porto and elsewhere in Portugal, but here in the Algarve it makes a brutal difference”, he reinforced.

The President considered that this decision signifies the opening for booking holidays in the country and for the whole of the Algarve society to accelerate the path of economic recovery.

Marcelo recalled that in the nine remaining visits to the Algarve, from the 16 he promised to make until the end of October, there will still be an opportunity “to see some results of this British decision”.

A statement from the British Embassy in Lisbon sent to The Portugal News said: “The British Embassy wishes to thank the Portuguese authorities for their constructive cooperation in recent weeks, including regularly providing updated figures on the evolution of the virus in Portugal.”

While many people avoided travelling to Portugal due to the restrictions, according to easyJet, Portugal continued to be one of the most sought-after destinations by the British community throughout the summer, despite all the previous implications of returning home.

Portuguese airline TAP, in a statement say that “the end of the quarantine allows to reinforce the destination of Portugal in the United Kingdom.” Only Lisbon and Porto airports will receive flights from the United Kingdom, but there will be a great deal of flexibility when it comes to flying to other destinations such as Faro and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores. In total, from London and Manchester, 30 weekly flights will depart, 23 from Lisbon and seven from Porto. The company also allows tickets for these destinations to have free cancellation during August. It also offers a 15 percent discount on trips booked until 26 August for dates until 15 December, the customers just need to use the promotional code PORTUGAL15, when purchasing tickets online. The airline Ryanair will also have special prices for trips to Portugal.

To guarantee the well-being and health security of visitors, Turismo de Portugal launched a health insurance package for those who come to Portugal for holidays.

The programme, called Portugal Travel Insurance, is health insurance that is adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic that has coverage throughout the national territory.

“The insurance covers medical, pharmaceutical and hospital expenses”, it will also cover “expenses for cancellation, interr-uption or extension of the trip”, if they result from some effects caused by the pandemic, according to a press release sent by Turismo de Portugal. All information is available on the website: portugaltravelinsurance.com.

Foreign visitors arriving in Portugal can also use the Portugal Health Passport by registering on the website portugalhealthpassport.com. Registration is free, but some packages are available on the website with the possibility of taking the Covid-19 test.

All of these measures “consolidate Portugal’s position as a safe destination”, according to Turismo de Portugal.


Comments:

Are we in Madeira on the ,No Quarantine, when we get back to UK or not? Your article now says Madeira does not have to be quarantined when we get back to UK but it looks as though we do. Clarification would be most welcome.

By mike sebbage from Madeira on 02-09-2020 12:52

It would be fantastic for you to report why Portugal's Covid-19 infections are higher at the moment due to higher numbers of testing, if thats the case. It would be devastating if the UK Government take Portugal off the 'Airbridge' because of the rate of new infections

By Sue Wildey from Lisbon on 29-08-2020 01:50
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