Our dreams of a summer holiday started looking up last Friday (3 July), with the FCO releasing a list of 59 countries Britons could freely travel to from 10 July. However, one British favourite was not on the list: Portugal.
Now, the southern European country has issued a statement responding to the decision, revealing it is “extremely disappointed”.
Portugal was excluded from the list that includes 50 countries and territories, spanning Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.
Destinations that were included will form part of an ‘airbridge’ with the UK from 10 July, meaning Brits will not have to quarantine on arrival or upon return to the UK.
However, despite Portugal being a popular destination with British tourists, they were still omitted from the air bridge agreement.
The Portuguese territories of Madeira and the Azores have also been left off the FCO’s list of territories it is possible to travel to.
“We are extremely disappointed to hear that the UK government has made the decision to omit Portugal from the air bridge agreement,” said president of Turismo de Portugal, Mr Luis Araújo, in an official statement.
“The reality in Portugal is totally different from the one portrayed by this decision. We fully maintain and stress unwavering confidence in the safety of the nation to welcome back international visitors.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Portuguese government and tourism industry have worked tirelessly to implement a carefully strategised and thoroughly actioned protocol for the tourism industry and wider society.
“From our viewpoint, the entire national territory should have been appropriately included in the UK travel corridor owing to the successful containment of the outbreak.”
The statement also details the efforts Portugal has gone into to control the coronavirus, revealing it has deaths down by 70 per cent and active cases at 13,060 for the entire nation.
Along with being a popular holiday spot, Portugal is also a favourite cruise destination, loved by Brits and travellers from around the world.
Many cruise lines such as P&O Cruises and Celebrity Cruises stop at the mainland ports and its territories, such as Lisbon, Porto, Madeira and the Azores.
“The British public, who have been our primary source of inbound visitors for many regions in Portugal, have celebrated our culture, traditions, landmarks, and history for decades, by our side,” continued Araújo.
“We will continue to implement strict safety protocol with the cross-sector cooperation of multiple establishments.
“We can only reiterate our full commitment to welcome all British tourists who choose to have their vacations in our country by providing them with safety, warmth, and the kindness of the people of Portugal.”
While Portugal might not be on the list just yet, 59 countries still are including Spain, France and Italy. Click here to see the full list of holiday inspiration…