Portugal air bridge decision a “mistake”

in News · 03-07-2020 17:12:00 · 87 Comments

Following the news that Portugal has been left off the list of countries that have been granted an “air bridge” with the UK for tourism, the head of Algarve tourism has spoken out about the situation, declaring the decision to be a “mistake” on the part of the UK government.

“It is a decision that we regret and do not understand in light of the facts. We consider the decision to be deeply unfair and penalises the country in general and the Algarve in particular,” said João Fernandes, President of the Algarve Regional Tourism board.

He continued: “We were clearly penalised for speaking the truth. Is it safer to travel to countries that test half, or even a third, or prefer to vacation in a country that is truly committed to preserving public health and tourism?”

“A large number of British tourists come to the Algarve, a region that between July and September registers 68 percent of overnight stays coming from tourists from the United Kingdom in hotels in Portugal.”

The tourism boss noted that since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Algarve has registered only 1.5 percent of cases in the national territory (639 cases accumulated until the 2 July).

“This decision is a mistake by the British Government, which could have been avoided if it simply listened to the 18,000 British residents who live in the region and who can witness in first person the example set during the pandemic in Portugal.

“In May, Portugal was hailed in the UK as an example in responding to the pandemic. Since then, we have improved the rates of hospital admissions (-50%), deaths (-70%) and active cases (-45%).”

In the open letter, João Fernandes continues to outline that the National Tourism Authority has developed the first certification system for health protocols in tourism in the world, the “Clean & Safe” seal, with more than 17,000 certificates issued. Meanwhile, Turismo do Algarve developed a “Manual of Good Practices”, for several of the tourist activities, encompassing the procedures to be adopted for rent-a-car, golf, camping sites, marinas, beaches, surfing, water parks and restaurants, in addition to tourist accommodation, travel agencies and tourist entertainment companies.

He highlighted that: “Portugal is one of the countries that tests the population the most and has the lowest mortality rates”.

“Although quarantine on return is also mandatory until today, we have been witnessing a growing demand from the British market, since in mid-June flights to the United Kingdom resumed. For July and August we have flights available to 20 airports, operated by 5 airlines, attesting to the confidence of tourists and air operators in the Algarve”.

João Fernandes concluded: “All of these arguments have been widely expressed to the British Government. We will continue to work for the next revision of this measure to be favourable and for British tourists to continue to be very welcome in the Algarve, as they have been for the past 50 years.”


I cannot for the life of me understand why Boris & Co will not lift the air bridge to Portugal.We have been here since January and when this all started they closed all borders with Spain.
From day one everybody wore masks and there were no panic buying anywhere,people qued up outside spar shops and supermarkets in an orderly fashion.
I must say we live in the Algarve and there were very few cases here and we felt much safer here than back home, and still do.
So why does Boris think it’s a risk coming to Portugal.

By Al Martin from Algarve on 31-07-2020 05:05

The omission of Portugal from the UK Governments list of air bridges is unbelievable. I have followed the pandemic and the related issues very closely since I returned to the UK from Portugal in March 2020 just as the 'issue' was starting, and it is in my firm opinion that from the outset, Portugal is the one country in the WORLD that has handled the 'pandemic' better than anyone else. I will be writing to my MP demanding an answer to this unfathomable and ultimately stupid decision.

By Glenn Greatwood from UK on 07-07-2020 11:42

I think it is totally ridiculous that England excluded Portugal after hailing their response to the pandemic. I live in Northern Ireland and as yet the devolved administration have not made any decision on 'air bridges'. It should have been a UK wide agreement. I await to hear what NI decision is as I am hoping to get to Portugal late August.

By Jen from UK on 06-07-2020 09:31

I hope to lead a group of 23 on a cycling tour in Northern Portugal this October. I organised this tour and everyone signed up last December. So far everyone's hung in there with me, hoping against hope that things will open up in time. It looked likely - but now THIS! Further payments to hotels become due at the end of this month, before then I need to decide whether to cancel and take a small loss, or keep hoping and risk losing a LOT. Decision time is now. If Boris doesn't think again pronto, there's 23 people won't be visting Portugal in October, even if everything's fine by then.

By Chris Juden from UK on 06-07-2020 11:43

As a Canadian I am a bit confused here because I thought Portugal was insisting on closed borders.

By Reginald Vernon Reynolds from UK on 06-07-2020 08:29

Turn off the TAP for Covid! Unbelieveble the amount of mass delusion regarding this crisis. This´rabid dog´ first hitched a ride on air carriers from it´s country of origin and now we are willing to let it run amok with weak precautions and mass non-compliance? Let science have the final say...in the end we can exit sooner if we maintain strict intra, inter country quarantines. Anything else is corona-quakery. Forget about the airlines...for now, Turn off the TAP on Covid!

By João from Lisbon on 06-07-2020 05:48

I have waited with baited breath for news of access to the UK from Portugal without quarantine. Conversely, whilst UK residents are looking forward to a much needed holiday in this beautiful country, the ex pat community are here, some of us are desperate to get back to see our children and grandchildren, whom we have not seen since December 2019. Looking at the overall stistical evidence I would suggest that a visit to Portugal is much less risky than some other countries.
I am saddened, but understand the reasoning for quarantine reciprocity applied by Portugal to visitors returning to Portugal from the UK. In effect this means that we would have to isolate for four weeks. Its a no brainer. I hope there will be some relaxation soon

By Fiona Dudley from Algarve on 05-07-2020 07:59

Dear Sir we in the UK are as flabbergasted as you ,we can’t think why we have to quarantine on return
It’s a ridiculous decision and one I hope will be reversed soon
My family will be there end of July and we cant wait to enjoy the sun the food and your lovely people who make us so welcome everywhere kind regards Brian

By Brian Glover from UK on 05-07-2020 07:56

I well be coming to Algarve in December with my family as we do every year for Christmas and New year very clean and friendly place the UK not includeing Portugal in air bridge is wrong so we well see you in December

By Mark Kerr from UK on 05-07-2020 07:03

Myself and my family are extremely upset by this decision by the British government regarding the omission of your beautiful country We are due to travel to the Algarve on the 3rd of August for our usual visit which we have done for the past twenty years.Unfortunately, it seems that we will have to cancel this as two of our party are unable to quarantine due to work commitments. I just hope that someone will be able to persuade this government to change this ridiculous policy soon. I'm sure there must be others in the same situation as ourselves.If so, speak up and let your opinions be known.

By gillian black from UK on 05-07-2020 06:52

Very much looking forward to visiting your beautiful country later this year. Hopefully TAP will still be flying. I have a voucher however I am somewhat worried it will not be valid if they go into administration. I was seriously disappointed by the customer service received however I blame the director's of the Airline. Fingers crossed my family and I will arrive before Christmas.

By Taddy McAuley from UK on 05-07-2020 03:06

I am saddened to be a British citizen. The UK keeps making poor decisions. The idiots are steering the boat just as they are in USA and Brazil. At least the government in Portugal works for the people and not the press soundbites.

By Howard from Algarve on 05-07-2020 02:53

We have a villa booked for mid August, and despite the non-scientific decision by our Government, to exclude Portugal from the airbridge list, we will still be visiting subject to flights continuing.

By Keith Risk from UK on 05-07-2020 02:14

Everyone thank El País for its role in this joke. The surgically placed headline on the night decisions were made has lead us to this idiocy.
When push comes to shove, the vested interests of other EU members will always take precedence over their neighbours'.

Considering the duality of thè situation around Europe, I find that Portugal - even more so than Spain, Italy, Greece or Turkey - is the safest bet for holiday-making. The Alentejo coast and the western edge of the Algarve are less sought-after, and will avoid the overcrowded Albufeira and Portimao.

Catalonia is back under lockdown. Will the UK government stipulate a countrywide red listing?!

By Paul from UK on 05-07-2020 12:49

I have been a consistent supporter of the Tory Government during this difficult time. The issues they have faced have been world wide and not just confined to the UK.
However, I am becoming more and more embarrassed by their recent decision making, culminating in the decision to exclude Portugal from this air bridge list.
Anyone who has been watching the progress of this dreadful virus will absolutely realise that Portugal has been at the forefront of control, track and trace etc. They have been consistently at the head of most tables regarding performance.
Why can't Boris et al see that this decision makes us look fools at an international level, especially at this moment in time when we need as many friends across Europe as possible. [Brexit negotiations]
With the recent local outbreak in Spain, are we now not allowed to visit the Costas. If the foreign office are reacting on an individual basis, and closing air bridges on a reactionary basis, where will this leave families and the tourist industry. Shocking decision by a flailing Government.
I am a Tory but am seriously questioning my loyalty based on this rediculous decision.

By stephen neale from UK on 05-07-2020 12:29

I suggest that Portugal uses its veto accordingly in the next stages of the Brexit negotiation process, and blocks any free trade agreement between the EU and the UK! Portugal should also consider canceling its alliance (allegedly the oldest in the world) with the UK. That's not how allies conduct business with each other. Oh, and one more thing, Brexiteers should be banned from visiting any EU countries.

By Vincent from UK on 05-07-2020 12:24

Portugal should be relieved to not have British tourists yet! It's Portugal that's in danger of infection from the UK here, not vice-versa. Portugal managed to get their Covid situation under control, but Britain hasn't, and they won't any time soon. In Portugal we've had four months of strict, unending regulations to get the level of virus control we have now - and then throw it all away for tourists from the most infected country in Europe? Insanity.

By Emma from Lisbon on 05-07-2020 10:24

I am a Portuguese Canadian from Toronto for past 60 years. Every year I come to my second home in Vale do Lobo, Algarve on two separate occasions. This time I came late January with return date of mid May. My return flight was cancelled so I became stranded hopefully returning this coming week. At first I was very concerned about everything, but soon became to appreciate the actions of the government. So it's been 5 months and I now can really appreciate and consider myself lucky to be stranded in the BEST place in the world to ride this terrible time. I am happy to be returning to my family, but my return is bitter sweet because I will miss the Algarve and plan to return ASAP and perhaps start steps to Reside in Portugal permanently. Boris Johnson policy to exclude Portugal from the open corridors is Pathetic for all of the reasons reported by all majors news platforms. Johnson behaved recklessly from the beginning imitating Donald Trump and almost paid with his life. Ironically according to him it was a Portuguse nurse who saved his life and Portugal and UK also have the oldest treaty in the world between two countries. I have many UK friends and neighbours all appalled by this decision. I think the Portuguse nurse( Joao) who saved his life may wish he had never met him. My advice to UK tourists is ignore this Political decision and come to beautiful safe Portugal regardless.

By Jose Ribeiro from Algarve on 05-07-2020 10:16

Its ridiculous Spain and France were affected much worse than Portugal especially the Algarve and still are, doesn't make any sense at all. We live here and have been for 20 years. Their health service is extremely good and the care taken to protect everyone from covid19 when you enter shops is first class. If you dont wear a mask and disinfect your hands before entering you don't get in. Rules were broken by the minority but so were they in theUK. Unbelievable,where are your loyalties UK the Portuguese are our allies and always have been, but it looks as though the British government prefer to support countries that are not.

By Carol carpenter from Algarve on 05-07-2020 09:50

I concur with all the other comments I have seen, that the UK made an awful decision excluding Portugal from the 'exempt' list. It is a slap in the face to our oldest international partner - and at a time when we will be hoping for support from representatives in Europe (Brexit!!).
The management of the pandemic in Portugal has been the best we have witnessed and their results reflect that. If I were Portuguese, I would not feel safe travelling to the UK. Indeed, that should be the recommendation from the Portuguese government, but then the UK doesn't rely on tourism coming from Portigal, so probably wouldn't care!

By Neville W from UK on 05-07-2020 08:13

I have a house in Lagos and can not wait to get out to the Algarve but we have to be realistic. On July 4th 624 people in Uk were diagnosed with Covid out of a population of over 66 million, in Portugal there was 413 new cases out of a population of just 10.3 million. Far far higher percentage! Is not this the time of year when people from Lisbon come down to the Algarve for their holidays!!

By Stuart sellers from UK on 05-07-2020 08:10

Has no one else thought that the reason for this is the fact that Portugal is allowing flights in and out from Brazil,because it is a Portuguese speaking country! Brazil hS rampant uncontrolled COVID-19 I cannot understand this decision and think the government should ban all fligjts from Brazil.as responsible countries are not going to let their people enter Portugal whilst this is happening.

By Margaret stephenson from Beiras on 05-07-2020 06:49

I have a booked flight to the Algarve to visit my 99 year old Granny and my mum both been alone in isolation since March. I will return on 15th and prefer to be arrested to having do quarentine ( after my restayrant was forced to shut down for 4 months losing a lot of money for some people to now go down to Bournemouth, Dorset, and many Sea side locations ignoring all the safety measures and social distances to enjoy the sunny weather like we saw in the last couple of weeks!
As someone said, Portugal is the safest Country to be right now and for UK a government to stupidly leaving Portugal out of Airbridge deal is just unbelievable!!:(
#Wake up Boris!!

By LUIS SILVA from UK on 05-07-2020 12:15

Respected, Algrave is a very low-risk (In terms of COVID 19 cases) tourists & tourism-friendly city located in Portugal where International Tourists including the UK may travel and spend their summer vacation days very charmingly. Expecting soon, the UK Government will soon lift up its ban from Portugal. My maternal uncle living there in Algrave, though I'm living in Lisbon, he invited me to visit Algrave during this summar.

By REJAUL ABEDIN PhD, FCMAN from Lisbon on 04-07-2020 11:29

A typical torie decision, "take on the weak that are better than you",
Portugal throughout history never gained anything by being allied to England and once again... !!

By Antonius Lusitani from UK on 04-07-2020 11:10

Please uk government look at the statistics off France Spain Italy compared to Portugal yes a few more people in lisbon area but that is not the whole of Portugal it is a huge place. A log of Rita myself included go to the algarve, and it is so weird that the day after you do not include Portugal part of Spain has had to lock down. Will you be taking them off the list now

By Georgina probert from UK on 04-07-2020 11:00

Disgraceful decision by UK government. They could learn a lot from Portugal on how to manage this pandemic. One minute they are praising Portugal for it's handling of the covid situation next its stopping uk tourists from coming here. The mind boggles!

By Jackie Wickers from Algarve on 04-07-2020 09:24

I will be lobbying Conservative councillors I know who know the British prime minister.
Having been in lockdown in the algarve and since 17 March 2020 a uk passport holder but came to Portugal to the algarve just before the lockdown.
I can confirm that being here in the algarve in Portugal was far better than being isolated in spain.
I've had nothing but politeness from all walks of life in the algarve during the lockdown. Nearly all speak English and have been that helpful that I intend to give my Spanish residencia up and apply for resident in portugal.
I've even been to the main hospital in portimao with health issues and I can assure all brits and the British goverent that what I saw was every step taken to ensure a person's safety.
You were not even allowed in the hospital untill you had been in the makeshift tent outside who took your tempreture and your health details before allowing you to even enter the hospital
The hospital treated me with respect and care and was not allowed out untill ct scans done xrays done. Blood test and water tests done and given prescription for medication.
My thanks to Portugals health care system.

I'm ashamed of the stance the British government has taken and can only say that personally there is no where else safer to be than the algarve. It is far safer place to be than the uk.
So I appeal to the powers that be ie the British government not to turn your back on the worlds longest alie the British and Portuguese historical relationship.
I cannot believe that uk will allow tourist to Spain but not to the safe and beutifull algarve.
I drove last Thursday after the border with Portugal and Spain reopened to my holiday home in spain collected some things and drove straight back to the algarve.
So to brits wanting a holiday this summer there is no safer place than the algarve.
Even Germany has had a spike as will spain. I regularly see even now algarvians wearing masks in there cars.
So take a flight to malaga hire a car for your duration and drive over the border to the algarve. I'm sure you can book online a hotel where Portugal will welcome you plus they all speak far more enish than the Spanish do.
Portugal is a beautiful country and the people only pleased to help you. The algarve is suffering as it relies on mainly British tourists so please don't let down this beautiful country but embrace it and come and take a relaxing and safe holiday.

By Robert lievesley from Algarve on 04-07-2020 06:43

I have a flight to Faro, to then I go on to Tavira, on 4th August, and I will be on it, unequivocally, for all the truthful reasons expressed above. I have no return ticket to the UK. I have only contempt for the English government. I live in Wales and they have simply ans seriously dealt with this situation in the same way as Portugal - maturely, sensitively, sensibly and for the good of the people.

By David Schofield from UK on 04-07-2020 06:37

Makes no difference to me, us, we will still visit Portugal, Algarve. Do not understand the decision.

By Geoff Waddington from UK on 04-07-2020 05:49

Big mistake, Portugal is very loved by people all over The World. I shall Come to Algarve August5th and next year i shall move to Portugal. Portugal is The sa fest country in Europe right now. A little paradiset which is loved and protect ed by univers. Stay blessed and love you❤️

By jenny matei from Other on 04-07-2020 04:51

I see the photos of Bournemouth and Brighton beaches packed, no one taking precautions, the tonnes of litter left behind for someone else to deal with. I read the news about the illegal raves, thousands of young Brits gathering to swap germs to take home to their families. A British couple in Continente the other day refusing to wear a mask, "we're exempt, we're tourists", until the GNR were called. The entirely predictable rise in cases on the Costa del Sol who were first to admit the riff raff.

I for one am glad there's no easy way for the Brits to come visit, long may it continue.

By Algarve Scott from Algarve on 04-07-2020 04:31

As resident I have only admiration for the way the portugese goverment has dealt with the situation with li
Ocking down early putting measures in place for coming out. I am proud to live in such a country and Cascias. as a uk national I am embarrassed by the uk goverment

By Keith Welch from Lisbon on 04-07-2020 03:51

I’ll be taking 2 holidays in Portugal this year regardless of the U.K. government does! I just need to fly to Madeira and then mainland Portugal. Madeira and the Azores are included in the safe area!

By Alice from UK on 04-07-2020 02:04

To all of you people coming from the UK - please don't bring the virus with you! And please follow all the Portuguese rules and advice. Thank you.

By Terry McDine from Algarve on 04-07-2020 12:54

I am a UK investor in Portugal tourism that has been victimised by Turismo Portugal. They have unreasonably and uncontractually withheld 35% of our contract value on spurious grounds. Asking for the same documents over and over again and making them disappear only to ask fort hem yet again. I have examples where Portuguese promoters have been treated completely differently! Why should the UK government help Portugal when they treat UK investors so badly withholding funds contributed by UK tax payers?

By fouad el-khazen from Porto on 04-07-2020 12:42

More like a blessing. This will protect us for a while from huge crowds who may forget/disregard safety rules, especially the misbehaving bar crawlers in bigger resorts. Shame on those who are looking to find a loophole and break a quarantine rule.
Brexi will bring more changes. Portugal should use this phase in the pandemic to start focussing their marketing on Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, France, etc. Thousands more would love to visit, both short and long term, especially if air links improve.

By Annie from Algarve on 04-07-2020 12:03

And to know that a Portuguese Nurse has saved the PM's life(his words) in the Process.
Now this poor guy won't be able to take some time off near his loved ones...
Turism? Think of the thousands of Portuguese that like this nurse have worked through the worst of the Pandemic (like me and family) and now are unable to see our families and have a well deserved rest.
So sad this....... We should do a Spain and stop recording (reporting) figures!!!
Well; had my rant..

By Danny from UK on 04-07-2020 11:29

I suggest anyone considering to holiday with us in Portugal, come, visit us now, we have a beautiful country not just seasides, much less crowds and with the regulations most accommodation is complying with a level of safety much better than a British beach holiday could offer, you will require face masks for shops and public transport, and when you return to the UK, you just give them an address in Durham.

By Gareth Tea from Beiras on 04-07-2020 11:23

We will be visiting the Algarve in a July for 3 weeks. It’s a shock that Portugal is not included in the Uk government list of ‘safe’ places to visit (as long as our flight does not get cancelled that is - we’ve had 3 cancelled to date)

By Cameron Scott from UK on 04-07-2020 10:56

I fully agree. Portugal is safe.

The U.K. government are an embarrassment and have handled the Covid situation poorly throughout.

My wife and I have visited Portugal for the last 15 years and will continue to do so. We have bought a house there this year and believe in our project and Portugal as a country.

We can’t wait to visit. Please don’t think the actions of our government represent how we feel.

We are with you and will be there soon.


By Alex Harvey from UK on 04-07-2020 10:54

Well! Big error by the UK government, yet another inept decision. We hope it will be corrected within the next couple of days. That said we are flying into Faro on Thursday and are looking forwards to it. We will feel safer in the Algarve than we do in the UK. Compliments to the Portuguese Government for the resolute manner in which they have handled the pandemic.

By Ray from UK on 04-07-2020 10:51

Wonderful country , people, make you feel part of their family ,who wouldn't want to travel ,to this place traveling in October Dec LM 70,it's kept my life full of happiness, see you soon X

By Susan from UK on 04-07-2020 10:49

I for one hope the current decision holds. We do not want a host of untested potential carriers of this virus. Stay in the UK. Yes, the economy will suffer, but people’s lives are more important. And I pity the Azores and Madeira, because infected Brits will undoubtedly visit and cause a spike of new cases and deaths. The whole concept of “safe travel” or an “air bridge” is ludicrous. This virus is not leaving us anytime soon, and thrives in recirculated air and enclosed spaces. Don’t let down your guard.

By Jude Irwin from Beiras on 04-07-2020 10:46

This is absurd! Clearly with regards to the virus Portugal should be worried about the UK and not the other way round.
Economically this is of course very difficult for the Algarve.
I have a house in the Algarve,been coming to this beautiful country for many years. Travelled pretty much around the world, Portugal is the best country in the world for me: The people, the climate, the beaches, the wonderful food and wine, the golf courses etc..
Also Portugal is the 3rd safest country globally after New Zealand and Island!
I sincerely hope that many more people from other countries will discover this wonderful country.The dependence on one (British) market is not a good thing anyway.
Can't wait for my next visit!

By Thomas Traser from Other on 04-07-2020 10:14

We are due to visit Portugal in August. Do we know If or when there are likely to be re-negotiations to discuss the air bridge? It’s a disgrace that Portugal have been omitted from the list.

By Leigh from UK on 04-07-2020 09:13

It’s quite absurd that Portugal has been left off the airbridge list. I have been visiting the Algarve for 35 years. It is a beautiful and extremely clean country. Quite honestly the way the Portuguese have conducted themselves during this whole pandemic has been exemplary unlike the UK which has been a shambles. It is a very embarrassing decision by the British Authorities and I hope they will reconsider very soon. Sarah Gilbert

By Sarah Gilbert from Algarve on 04-07-2020 08:50

Does anyone know when the decision to exclude Portugal will be reviewed and what the criteria will be?

The decision seems ludicrous, the more so in light of the opening of borders between Spain and Portugal and the incredible effort Portugal has made to prepare the country for tourists. Will every isolated spike lead to the closure of whole countries. Lets see if the Government applies that to France or Spain. I suspect not.

By Guy Burnell from UK on 04-07-2020 08:27

I am of Dutch nationality and live here in Portugal since 2016. I fully agree with the comments of my UK neighbours. From the start I was impressed with the organization of the country in all aspects, including health care. I am very suspicious that some of these decisions by other countries are politically motivated, in general and more specifically towards Portugal. I am sure that many international people living in Portugal and those that like to visit Portugal will continue to support this country and help the economy.

By Nico oorebeek from Lisbon on 04-07-2020 08:26

It is a total shambles that the uk government has to penalise Portugal for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in an excellent manner by preventing the spread of the disease with only 1580. The beaches on the Algarve currently have a traffic light system so they don’t become overcrowded & are safe, just take a look at the Uk beaches with no organisation whatsoever & more to the point where’s the safe distancing rule!! What control have the Uk government really got!! Face masks have to be used in all enclosed spaces in Portugal & what rules have we in the Uk (public transport hospitals & medical places) not even supermarkets & shops. Boris needs a massive wake up call & to get a grip of what’s been happening in a lot of the countries on the Air Bridge list. example Spain & Italy who had the highest mortality rates in Europe.

By Sue from UK on 04-07-2020 07:59

As an Expat living here in the Algarve, I have been amazed how people have just follow the guidance (except for a few isolated incidents). During April people queued at shops with their masks on and were patient about it. No Panic buying, people just being sensible and taking the situation seriously. Political parties joined up not fighting and trying to make a position for themselves. The UK decision making process has been shambolic from the start, with so much mis-information due to its dithering over decisions and by not putting out real facts, it has created total confusion as to what people should or should not do, which then leads to the media making up their own facts up each day, it seems.

So much for the special bond with Portugal, a kick in the teeth from Boris, at a time when his own father goes on holiday to Greece whilst the travel ban is still on. Why do I feel cynical I wonder.

By Lindsay McCaughey from Algarve on 04-07-2020 07:51

I am a non UK Portuguese resident and I am disappointed but no surprised. The handling by de PT authorities as well as the discipline of the people have been a an example for even the world. But I am not surprised as the Home Office runed by Priti Patel is headless and it accumulates mistakes after mistakes inflicting harm to the British and in this case, Portugal as well. Who knows what political calculation (if any) is behind the decision. Please remember that the whole UK government is historically the most sloppy and incompetent in history. Y feel very sad for the unnecessary damage to the tourist industry in the short term and for the UK people that will miss a fantastic summer in PT. UK nationals and residents will have to keep up for years to come with what the conservatives have on offer, for example Brexit, public health mismanagement and and the economic crisis without proper leadership.

By Rodolfo from Algarve on 04-07-2020 07:42

Dear sir
Portugal is the UK oldest friend and frankly I’m so disappointed with the UK decision,but I for one will be in vale do lobo in July unfortunately my wife won’t be she cannot quarantine on return but I can I’ve been in vale do lobo every year for last 25 years and I’m not stopping now not for no one see you soon

By Stephen Clark from UK on 04-07-2020 07:40

I fully support the UK decision. The Portuguese Government ask their expats every year and this year is no exception to return to Portugal to holiday with family. The Portuguese expats could originally be from “no go areas” These people could return to see family and then return to their homes in the UK without quarantine. The Portuguese Government did little to protect the Algarve from the onslaught during the two day bank holiday in June leading to a rise in Covid numbers. Portuguese television showed footage of the Police stopping holiday makers from the north coming down in early May bank holiday, this was all show with large numbers still arriving. The Portuguese did very well early on, however, now they have flagged hence rising numbers in the badly hit Lisbon region.

By Julia from Algarve on 04-07-2020 07:06

I am devastated and embarrassed by this totally illogical decision. I've already had two journeys cancelled, well my third attempt is going ahead whatever it takes. Força Portugal.

By Dianne Colebatch from UK on 04-07-2020 12:35

A little balance from Reuters:

“Portugal’s number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants is currently the second highest in Europe after Sweden, according to data from the European Union’s (EU) disease control centre.

Portugal attributes this to its high testing rate, though Britain has surpassed Portugal in terms of tests per million people, according to the worldometer.info website.“

By Adam from Lisbon on 03-07-2020 11:33

Looks like you're worrying for nothing John Dough. The UK tourists say they are coming anyways! Good for them! The hospitality sector in Portugal, especially the Algarve, will be so appreciative!

By William from Other on 03-07-2020 11:29

Imposing a quarantine on a whole country (your oldest ally, by the way) because of an outbreak in one city (albeit the capital), whereas most visitors want to go to the Algarve, makes no sense. Should countries impose a quarantine on the UK because of the outbreak in Leicester? We live in central Portugal and feel much safer here than we would in the UK. Portugal took earlier and more effective measures than the UK and no crazies breaking the rules here!

By John from Other on 03-07-2020 11:19

1. Telling the truth isn’t the problem, the youngsters in Lissabon and Porto are the real reason. The Dutch put Portugal on yello, but Lissabon an Porto are put on red!
2. The UK has still a very high number of infections and death. It’s better the Brits stay in their own country.

By Ate Harsta from Other on 03-07-2020 11:11

Why do I smell abig rat here and am led to believe that somewhere in the corridors of power, a tit-for-tat decision on the MacCann case has been taken? No logical explanation other than the handling of this case having caused malaise and the Portuguese Police, with the Algarve at the centre of it, has left people in the UK with a desire to punish back. Put an end to little Madeleine's unsolved disappearance and all bans will cease...far fetched? We live in strange times and are beeing governed by strange people.

By James S from UK on 03-07-2020 10:59

We booked our annual holiday to Portugal nearly a year ago, we’ve been visiting there for over 24 years, it’s the safest & cleanest place we know. Yet Boris, is now advising we don’t travel, stay at home instead in the uk, take the family to Bournemouth beach, visit your local pubs, join the national protests, have a street party.... sorry Boris, if it good enough for your dad to take off abroad then it’s good enough for me! Oh by the way how is your dear friend Dominic?

By Suzie from UK on 03-07-2020 10:50

What a farce ! The English government excludes Portugal from the air bridge list.
It beggars belief . Stuff them , we intend to return to the Algarve this month .
Viva Portugal !

By James from UK on 03-07-2020 10:43

This decision is so wrong that makes you think there is other interest ,1 try to keep the tourists in tourist spots in UK, 2 maybe portugal don't have many tourists who visit England like Spain, Italy, etc,3 with Brexit negotiations looks like England is doing favor to some countries with extra tourists taking away from Portugal, but the sad part in this story is portugal and England are the oldest alliance in the world (just Google it),is like favoring your interest 'friends" than your real friends,but they so silly they don't figure it out the Spanish hate English, same for Italians, French and GermanS,if there is same one or some place who have regard for the English is portugal,but like in life sometimes you just see your real friends to late

By Fernando Cruz from UK on 03-07-2020 10:35

I will come to the best and my favourite place in Europe, I dont understand the rules it doesnt make sense. Dont worry Portugal we love you and will be there in the summer, from me and all the Brits.

By Andrew from UK on 03-07-2020 09:39

Maybe the UK love the Portuguese so much that they don't want to burden the Portuguese people with the virus sent over from the highly infected UK.

By KARL BLORE from Algarve on 03-07-2020 09:35

I cannot agree with my government with regard to the decision that Portugal is not on the list regarding no -quarantine, many UK citizens have properties in Portugal ,including myself, I will travel there on the 14 July ,and the uk government cannot stop me, quarantine or not !!! this is the most stupid rule our government has made since the outbreak!!!!!!

By KEVIN HASKINS from UK on 03-07-2020 09:33

I am so ashamed at the UK for leaving Portugal off the travel corridor list. We have witnessed other EU countries such as our own having appalling death rates that Portugal should have been top of the list for the UK government. It will be heart breaking if we are unable to visit the beautiful Algarve this year. Keep battling on and fingers crossed x

By Carol from UK on 03-07-2020 09:30

It is the people themselves of Portugal that have shown great respect and consideration in what is required in dealing with this pandemic here, not so much the government. So many desperately need a summer of visitors to protect their businesses, their employment and their livelihoods - I wish them every success and support in every way.

By Steve from Algarve on 03-07-2020 09:25

The Portuguese government were doing so well, and then they got lazy and complacent, like they always do, and this is the result. I hope they finally learn from their mistakes. This current situation is heartbreaking, after doing so well for so long.

By Paul from Lisbon on 03-07-2020 09:23

It is an absolute disgrace what the government in London has done to its oldest
ally!! I and my wife will be flying to Faro next Wednesday the 8th July. I would
soon be in my holiday home in Salgados than be in the cowardly run city
of London where statues of Winston Churchill are allowed to be desecrated by
anarchists. We will face two weeks of isolation when we come back. Not like
Boris Johnson's dad !!!!! The Portuguese government handled the virus ten times
better than our lot!!!

By Barry Bernstein from UK on 03-07-2020 09:10

As a Brit, I'm pretty embarrassed by our shambles of a government. This decision is just one in a series of absurd bad judgements. We have a holiday booked in the algarve in August, and we will more than likely still come even if we have to quarantine although not ideal. I think the uk should have thought ourselves lucky that Portugal would allow us in!

By Meghann from UK on 03-07-2020 09:00

Don’t understand the decision. We will still be coming to Lagos for 3 weeks next Tuesday.

By David R from UK on 03-07-2020 08:26

Ok, Brits up to you now to investigate. How much money did Spain give a member of your government? Pretty obvious what happened there.

BJ's nurse at the hospital was Portuguese. Remember, he was "suffering" badly from this virus. He hailed her for her care and services. Failed to impress him beyond the hospitalization though.

By Paula from Algarve on 03-07-2020 08:13

crazy ,! you can fly to spain , drive over the border , stay for three weeks , drive back over the border and fly back yo UK ? how bloody stupid !

By robert c from UK on 03-07-2020 08:09

It is very rarely that I agree with anything that Donald trump says. In almost 4 years he has said something, possibly 4 times, that I thought was true. Sadly his statement "If we did very little testing, we wouldn't have the most cases. So, in a way, by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad," is true. It looks bad when you apply science and tell the truth.

Where Trump is wrong and Portugal is right, is that the more we test, the more we know, and the more we know the better we can respond. We have had citizens behave foolishly, but our testing and response had been honest and the results much better than in other places.

I am proud that Portugal has chosen logic over appearance, I am sorry that others would rather LOOK good, than BE good.

By Jonathan Wexler from Other on 03-07-2020 07:51

I completely agree with you. I have witnessed first hand how well managed the Algarve is.
Really poor decision by British Government. No basis for excluding Portugal.
Neil Stockton UK resident

By Neil Stockton from UK on 03-07-2020 07:46

I am both angered and embarrassed by the audacity of the UK government and I can only hope that your negotiations are rewarded as soon as possible. I for one cannot wait to leave the UK for the Algarve - if only for a short while!

By Graham Cherry from UK on 03-07-2020 07:24

This is a disgrace excluding portugal far safer than England l

By Valerie Nichol from UK on 03-07-2020 07:11

Portugal tested on 2.155 perople yesterday of which 328 were positive. This is 15%. 1 out of every 7 positive is exceptionally high and this is one of criteria in decision. This 15% is 500 times higher than UK infection rate of 544 out of 206,000 people tested yesterday

By Lynch from UK on 03-07-2020 07:06

It's one of the cleanest places on the world and will be going back this year.

By alfred Whittaker from UK on 03-07-2020 06:53

I guess it is finally time that Portugal Tourism is refocussing their attention on EU countries like Germany or France ... or Ireland. It will always be easier to travel within the EU than outside and putting all cards on the UK is not smart.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 03-07-2020 06:51

Dear Sir, I am frankly embarrassed by the decision taken by the UK Government to exclude Portugal from the quarantine exemption . We in the UK have one of the worst mortality rates in Europe and yet we have the cheek to impose a quarantine on a country that has performed extremely well compared to us . It’s frankly disgraceful. However, please know that we are undaunted and will still be visiting the Algarve in August regardless of the quarantine .

By Dominic Jones from UK on 03-07-2020 06:34

Been going to Quinta do logo for 30 years and I’ll be there in August.

By G parker from UK on 03-07-2020 06:30

Despite mistakes made regarding the control of the Covid-19 virus, such as the premature opening of places and borders to specific countries, overall Portugal has managed the pandemic in a much more effective manner than the UK. The results speak for themselves! That makes the UK's decision on this regard on this matter absolutely incomprehensible!

By Tony Fernandes from Other on 03-07-2020 06:25

If you want to come and visit us for summer, fly to the nearest Spanish Airport (Seville) and drive the short journey to the Algarve . No quarantine when you get back to the UK

By David S from Algarve on 03-07-2020 06:16

Having considered carefully the covid situation across Europe and the UK. Having also followed to the letter all past isolation advice from the UK government. The only European Country that I am confident to travel to is beautiful Portugal! I can see no reason why the Brits should be advised in this way. Yes I understand that right now Lisbon has issues but Lisbon is not an entire country. We will be arriving in Porto next week and will be as protecting ourselves and everyone else just the same as we have done since the beginning of the outbreak. We have missed you dear Portugal. x

By Andre from UK on 03-07-2020 06:16

Sir I fully support your position. I think it is a nonsense that Portugal is excluded given the pandemic track record in other countries on the list. I remain optimistic that sense will prevail and that I can bring my family to the Algarve in mid-August

By andrew little from UK on 03-07-2020 05:54
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