Confusion over Portugal holidays as ban on visitors extended

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Portugal today said it would allow British holidaymakers to enter the country from Monday even though it has extended internal restrictions until the end of May.


The country is on the UK’s green list which means that from May 17 travellers from Britain can visit without having to quarantine on return, however, there had been confusion over whether they would be allowed in by the Portuguese authorities.


Portugal recently extended its state of public calamity, its second-highest level of alert, until 30 May.


The EU also has its own restrictions on non-essential visitors from outside the bloc in addition to those imposed by Portugal.


On Friday afternoon, Portugal confirmed that British holidaymakers would be allowed in, but only if they had had a laboratory PCR test for the virus 72 hours before departure.


On that basis, the restriction that only essential flights are allowed will be lifted from Monday the National Tourism Authority’s website confirmed.


The news will be a relief to holidaymakers as well as travel companies, which have seen a surge in bookings since the UK’s green list was revealed last Friday.


Another complication has been the switch of the Champions League final, which involves two English teams, Chelsea and Manchester City, to Porto on 29 May.


Supporters had been told they would be ferried to the ground and straight back to the airport when the game finished and would not be allowed to mingle with locals, but whether that will change now is not clear.


TUI (LON:TUI) yesterday warned it might have to cancel flights to Portugal because of the EU ban on non-essential travel from countries outside the bloc.


Two days earlier, TUI had reported that bookings to Portugal had soared by 182% and it was putting on larger planes to cope with the rush.


Shares in TUI rose 1.1% to 410.1p.

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