THOUSANDS of British tourists hoping to head to Portugal next week have been hit with uncertainty.
The nation's government has decided to extend its “state of calamity” until at least May 30.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that as of May 17 the “stay in the UK” restriction will lift, meaning people will be able to go to green list countries, which includes Portugal.
But guidance published on the Portuguese Government’s website on Thursday stated that ministers had approved a move to continue the current level of lockdown.
Thousands of British football fans are hoping to travel to the city of Porto for the all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29.
Under current EU restrictions, only people from seven countries, including Australia and Singapore, are allowed to enter the bloc for non-essential reasons – this does not currently include the UK.
Last week, the UK government announced that holidays abroad could go ahead from May 17, with 12 countries added to the green list.
The green list, which includes Portugal, doesn't require Brits to quarantine when returning to the UK.
Following the announcement, holiday bookings soared by as much as 600 per cent, with easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2 adding hundreds of thousands of seats due to demand.
However, despite Portugal also saying they are ready to welcome Brits back this month, EU rules could mean the country is forced to turn away holidaymakers.
According to The Times it will be difficult to reverse the EU ban on non-member states currently recommended, as Lisbon holds the EU presidency.
Defying the EU's travel recommendations while holding the presidency could belittle the bloc's authority. However, any other EU countries eventually put on the green list could ignore the EU's advice.
A senior Portuguese official told the Times: "If they don’t resolve it the alternative will be thousands of British visitors being turned away at the airport, which is not a good scenario."
Earlier this month, it was revealed that new proposals being suggested could let foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated or from countries with a "good epidemiological situation" into the bloc.
People arriving from the UK, Russia and a number of other countries would be able to meet the new criteria, it's understood. However, US citizens might not.
Last week, holidays abroad were given the go ahead by the UK government, meaning Brits can travel overseas from Monday.
However, the green list currently only includes 12 destinations, including Portugal and Gibraltar.
It also includes Israel, Iceland, Singapore and the Faroe Islands.
Only four of the countries on the green list are welcoming Brits, with destinations including Australia and New Zealand not opening their borders to tourists.
While Brits won't have to quarantine when returning to the UK from a green destination, a pre-arrival test and a Covid test on day two are still required.
The rest of Europe is on the amber list, which requires a 10-day home quarantine.
TUI has since launched cheap Covid test packages to encourage Brits to go on holiday, which start from just £20.
It is feared that Spain, Greece and France could be left off the next green list due to the Covid situation in the country.
Brits are still banned from travelling to destinations on the red list, which Turkey and the Maldives were added to last week.
Brittany Ferries announced they could be launching a UK to Portugal ferry route, a first for the ferry company, due to the demand.
Source: Read Full Article