The Portugal News Air Bridge Campaign

in News · 24-07-2020 01:00:00 · 8 Comments

The Portugal News has launched a campaign to lobby the UK government to try to change their mind regarding the air bridge between the UK and Portugal.

The decision of the UK government to exclude Portugal from the 75 countries and territories that are exempt from 14 day quarantine on returning to the UK is adversely affecting the Portuguese tourist industry here on the Algarve and also tourists from the UK looking to enjoy time in the region.

2.5 million people visit every year from the UK, the majority coming late July and August and the decision to exclude Portugal is based, in our opinion, on false information. The Portuguese government has handled the virus outbreak superbly and that is borne out in the figures below (correct at the time of going to press).

  • Only 1,691 deaths in the country from coronavirus and 48,771 total infections.
  • In the Algarve where most of the UK citizens love to visit only 15 deaths from 790 cases

As a publication that supports all business in Portugal and the tourism industry, as well as our UK readers, the UK citizens based in the Algarve, the UK citizens employed in the tourist industry and the UK citizens that love to visit the Algarve each year we want to help to rectify this situation.

As such we have launched this campaign to raise awareness of the unique Portuguese situation and put forward logical reasoning as to why the UK government should change their mind.

We are asking our readers and those that support the changing of the decision of the air bridge to sign a petition and for those living in the UK to send a lobby letter to their local MP.

The full details of the petition and the lobby letter can be found online at our website here.

As well as you our readers supporting the campaign through signing the petition and sending lobby letters to your MP, we at The Portugal News will also be working to highlight the campaign through letters to Boris Johnson and other key members of the British government, contact with the Portuguese authorities and sharing the campaign across our social media platforms with more than 75,000 followers. We will also be publishing regular updates in our printed newspaper which reaches 60,000 people a week and 600,000 unique visitors to our website each month.

The Portugal News is committed to working with the local community and businesses to ensure that Portugal continues to be recognised as the safe destination that it always has been and continues to be.

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 agree with the government of Britain. Keep the ban for this year until the COV-19 issue stabilizes. What is important , the lives of your people or the financial aspect of life. Portugal just have to adjust like all other countries economically. I am an EX-Brit that loves Portugal with a home there, however I am unable to travel there at this time, due to the pandemic.

By Anthony Horta from Other on 25-07-2020 07:39

The UK decision to exclude Portugal and particularly the Algarve seems irrational and illogical. Not based on the evidence. Possibly a civil servant saw the spike in cases in Lisbon and thought it safer (to protect their position) to exclude an air bridge to Portugal. Or the decision is somehow politically motivated.
As a Brit in the Algarve I am ashamed of my government’s decision so can only hope that someone in authority realises the nonsensical decision and takes remedial action soon. I have signed the petition and written to my UK MP as suggested.

By Anup Dalal from Algarve on 25-07-2020 04:46

Serves Portugal right. India has the LOWEST infection rate and fatality rate in the world but still they are not allowed to come and visit Portugal for toursim. But Portugal is begging UK despite UK having one of the worlds highest infection rates. Serves Portugal right and they should learn from this and open tourists from other countries too.

By Raman Sharma from Lisbon on 25-07-2020 07:54

We have spent the last 10 years motorhoming on the Algarve. Now they have closed the Aire at Lagos. Could you please tell me when it will reopen. I disagree with the decision by the UK to exclude Portugal from the air bridge. Hopefully it will be resolved in the near future.

By Donalddenniss from Algarve on 24-07-2020 03:34

From Coimbra -as a Brit expat 52 years living permanently twixt Spain n Portugal, I am incandescent re this ignorant action on part of my home country's govt. In every respect the British decision is appalling. The figures of our countries do not in any any support the action of England, the generosity of the Portuguese offering initially to let the Brits in WITHOUT quarantine, just airport temperature checks, etc. when most of Europe was thinking not to let them in at all due their horrific figures caused by extreme lax precautions, makes the diplomatic behaviour on Britain's part disgusting. Where is the protest link please. ?

By gillian dolores gribler turley scott from Other on 24-07-2020 01:47

Yes I agree with previous comment by Michael. It's a bit late now considering we are literally waiting for the announcement. Decision will have already been made I suspect. The Algarve Resident has already done this campaign, which I duly signed.

By Algarve Resident & Tourism Worker from Algarve on 24-07-2020 01:42

Super idea but too late , with a decision being announced in just the next day or so ! I sent an email to Antonio Costa about the importance of the diplomacy required for an air bridge 2 months ago !

By Michael from Algarve on 24-07-2020 10:23

Where are the leads? Can you please imbed then in the article?

By N from Algarve on 24-07-2020 09:59
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