Portugal still off UK air bridge list

in News · 24-07-2020 12:39:00 · 19 Comments

Portugal remains off the list of the travel corridors that exempt passengers from quarantine on arrival in the United Kingdom, despite the British government having added five countries today.

Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the St. Vincent archipelago in the Caribbean were added to the list today by the British Ministry of Transport, following an assessment of the risk of infection with Covid-19.

As of 28 July, people travelling from these countries to England do not need to comply with the required 14-day quarantine, then the rest of the nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) must apply the British Government's decision.

The Ministry of Transport adds that the re-evaluation of this list continues to be done every four weeks, but adds that it may introduce "changes weekly (if necessary), to reflect the changing panorama of international health" and impose restrictions if the health situation of a country deteriorates.

If you disagree with the decision of the UK Government to continue to leave Portugal off the air bridge list, then click here to find details on how to sign a petition and lobby UK ministers.

WHO and Worldometer Data for each country for confirmed cases per week.


Week ending 29/6/20 - 2380 cases

Week ending 6//7/20 - 2652 cases

Week ending 13/7/20 - 2169 cases

Week ending 20/7/20 - 760 cases

On 760 cases that is roughly 7.6 per 100,000 infection rate.

The Algarve is roughly 3 per 100,000 now.


Week ending 29/6/20 - 2589 cases

Week ending 6//7/20 - 4590 cases

Week ending 13/7/20 - 9016 cases

Week ending 20/7/20 - 8865 cases

On 8865 cases that is roughly 18.7 per 100,000 infection rate.


The ONS last figures for England is estimated at 2,800 new cases per day or 19,600 per week for the week ending 20/7/20 and also states that the current infection rate is 5.2 per 100,000.

As such the Algarve is less than England and the whole of Portugal is just above England with the most telling factor being that Spain is on and Portugal off even though Spain has a rising infection rate over the last three weeks and Portugal has declined.

As such Portugal is now 7.6 per 100,000 and Spain is 18.7 per 100,000 infection rate.


I am still surprised to learn how many people are desperate to travel here, there and everywhere - purely for selfish reasons! These are exceptional, dangerous times. We are still in the middle of a PANDEMIC. Hello!!! Nothing should be more important than protecting your health (even life), and that of others.

The British go on about 'old allies', meaning Portugal was useful to them. That was in the past. Brexit changes everything and it's time to move on. The UK is eager to play with the big boys in the sandpit, while Portugal continues to be cuddled by Mother EU. Not a bad place to be though. Just received a tidy sum of pocket money - nothing to be sneezed at. Just use it wisely.

By Annie from Algarve on 28-07-2020 07:40

This situation is on the face of it ridiculous. The Portuguese health system, desperately underfinanced and understaffed, has performed far better than the UK' NHS in controlling the epidemic here, based simply on infection rates and deaths under care. Unfortunately, the UK <-> Portugal tourism axis is critical for the economy here, so teh peacock posturing and pretense of "listening to the evidence" is costing many decent and hard-working people dearly.

While I suspect that Portuguese politicians are capable of the kind of fawning obsequiousness which was apparently required to get preferred treatment for travel from the Johnson regime, to their credit, it was not their first impulse, and they expected a unrealistic amount of honesty from their "old friends" in England and got rewarded for it. The short-term difficulties may in the long term a blessing, as free travel between countries which showed immediate willingness to service Boris and his boys as they wish may be the channel for far more viral transmission than we should have feared.

The COVID crisis handed the Johnson Regime a golden apple in the form of several months' total distraction from Brexit. Now it is no longer possible to disguise the fact that they never had a plan to replace the elaborate and phenomenally successful economic and political relationships with Europe which they built up over decades. They can and will blame COVID-19 - either an "Act of God" or a "Chinese conspiracy", depending on how desperate you are to deny reality, for the incredible economic devastation that 2021 will see in the UK. The English have become a nation of whiners, unwilling to accept that reality is complex and has tradeoffs and suckering for simpleminded three word slogans ("Get Brexit done!" May I ask how, you effing tosser?) That will cost them trillions of pounds and thousands, probably tens of thousands of lives. Historians in the future will have to bite their tongues in order not to use phrases like "genocide through incompetence" in describing the performance of Johnson, Trump and their bullyboy cronies around the world. (Gee, though, that's only three words! We shouldn't oversimplify, should we?)

Of course it will be impossible to say how much worse that will be compared to the might-have-been outcome of rational geopolitical planning, but I hope the English people can see through the sham of the politicians they have foolishly allowed to gain power. Unfortunately, as usual, the people who have not been listened to as they raised the hue and cry about the wrongheadedness of current pseudoconservative policies will someday gain power and will then be blamed for not immediately fixing the problems they campaigned to eliminate.

By James Kilgore from Algarve on 26-07-2020 05:11

Looking at the decline in cases now in Portugal which is significant surely the air bridge can be opened up ? Come on UK government you have to review this without any further delays

By Carol Wel h from Lisbon on 26-07-2020 02:16

About time the government tells the Portuguese people to not only spend their holidays in their own country, but also to spend some money on local businesses. Now the Portuguese go to the beach with their own cooler box with food and drinks, spend the day without spending money, and go home again. That's not how you support the economy...

By Fred Doe from Algarve on 26-07-2020 11:16


By Cheila from UK on 26-07-2020 09:52

Absolutely the right decision.Spain has now got a 14 day quarantine rule back to the UK.
Spanish plated car flooded the Algarve as cash was put before the safety of the ageing population here.
Portugal should build an economy not reliant on overcharging tourists for a few months of the year

By James from Algarve on 26-07-2020 08:05

Cannot believe Madeira is still off the air bridge, utter madness!! They have one of the lowest infection rates and rely so much on tourism. Grant Shapps are you mad??

By Anne Higgins from UK on 25-07-2020 08:55

Just doesn't make sense for no air bridge with Portugal when comparing the Spain figures. Lost what little confidence I had in British government a while ago.

By Patricia BESSON from UK on 25-07-2020 05:28

I am a Uk citizen and live in London. I have been on the Algarve for a month. During my time on the Algarve every shop, restaurant and bar has observed perfect protocol. The British government clearly has done some sort of deal with Spain. I wish UK citizens would act in the same way.

By Adam Yates from Algarve on 25-07-2020 04:47

As the infection rates in the UK are higher than in Portugal I am very happy that fewer Brits will be coming here.

By Henry Harper from Algarve on 25-07-2020 03:24

The last time i wrote about this bizarre situation was before we came to Faro
earlier in the month. Portugal is ten times better prepared than we are in
the UK. I am in "isolation" still from my return from Salgados. BUT we are
coming again in August. I have written to my MP Theresa Villiers and told her
that Barnet where we live in North London has a comparable population
to the Algarve of around 400,000. There have been more than THIRTY times
more deaths from Corvid 19 in Barnet than in the Algarve. And Barnet is a leafy
prosperous outer London suburb

By Barry Bernstein from UK on 25-07-2020 10:46

The Lizbonites are as always the problem. They think little of the Algarve and its people except as a cash cow.

The Algarve needs to be a totally independent region run by locals who know and appreciate the needs of the land, the sea and the people.

By Liz from Algarve on 25-07-2020 10:44

For the week ending 20th July the total number of new cases in Portugal was 1953 so 19.2% per 100,00 not 7.6% quoted. Over the last month Portugal has had an infection rates 2-4X higher than the UK so can't see why the UK would change their travel quarentine policy towards Portugal this week. However the fact that Spain now has case rates comparable to Portugal but still remains on the quarentine-free list shows that the judgement process is probably politically driven rather than health driven. Imagine the uproar if Spain was now placed on a quarentine rule with everyone having just booked holidays!

By Al from Lisbon on 25-07-2020 09:51

Grossly unfair and illogical. Perhaps if the Portuguese govt could somehow underwrite the resultant void travel insurance cover, this might make a difference?

By Mark Walsh from UK on 25-07-2020 08:39

It is finally time for the Portuguese to open their eyes and see that there isn't such a special relationship between the UK and Portugal after all. Reorientate youself and see who are your "friends" and who are not.

By John Dough from Lisbon on 25-07-2020 07:55

I’ve been a resident in the algarve for two years now and still run by business in London travelling back and forth every week in normal times. This situation seems punitive and grossly unfair to the thousands of hard working businesses down here who feel they are being picked on by the UK whose response can at best described as chaotic

By Eugene Crighton from Algarve on 25-07-2020 07:35


By gillian dolores gribler turley scott from Other on 24-07-2020 07:35

Complete disbelief that UK has once again left Portugal off air corridor list. How on earth can they do that and still say it’s safe to holiday in Spain. Lost all confidence in our government. Sorry cannot visit Algarve now but quarantine rules makes this impossible due to work.

By Carol Lloyd from UK on 24-07-2020 05:33

Utter madness that they have not removed the air bridge, what the hell is going on. I think the British government, Grant Shapps, in fact, needs his eyes examined. I suggest that he talks a closer look at Spain

By Catherine Crompton from UK on 24-07-2020 03:12
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