Travel: Simon Calder says Portugal is ‘looking good’
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Portugal is a popular holiday destination among many Britons. However, travel to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, has been severely limited thus far. Today, the Iberian country lifted its ban on UK arrivals.
What’s more, the FCDO has announced it “no longer advises against all but essential travel to Portugal and the autonomous region of Madeira,” in its latest travel advice.
Portugal travel advice
The FCDO has today updated information on new deconfinement measures from April 19 and the lifting of the flight suspension and quarantine.
Mainland Portugal is currently in a ‘state of emergency’ and “measures are in place to control the spread the virus.”
Until Monday, April 19, the following lockdown measures are in place.
– public gatherings are banned.
– supermarkets and grocery stores may open until 9pm on weekdays and 7pm at the weekend
– small high street shops may open until 9pm on weekdays and 1pm at the weekends
– restaurants and cafés may open their terraces until 10:30pm on weekdays and 1pm at the weekend. Gatherings are limited to 4 people per table.
– the sale of alcohol is prohibited between 8pm and 6am, except in restaurants and cafés
– museums, monuments, palaces and art galleries may open until 10:30pm on weekdays and 1pm on weekends.
These will ease on Monday. The FCDO explains: “From 12.01am on 19 April, restrictions on movement and access to services will vary according to the level of risk in your municipality.
“For details of the measures that will be force in the municipalities of Moura, Odemira, Portimão and Rio Maior, see the Portuguese government’s website (in Portuguese).
“For details of the measures that will be force in the municipalities of Alandroal, Albufeira, Beja, Carregal do Sal, Figueira da Foz, Marinha Grande and Penela, see the Portuguese government’s website (in Portuguese)
“For details of the measures that will be in force in all other municipalities on mainland Portugal, see the Portuguese government’s website (in Portuguese).”
Stringent testing measures are still in place at the time of writing for Portugal arrivals.
“You will be required to show a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of departure (not required for children aged two or under), see the Portuguese Immigration Service website,” the FCDO states.
“Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot provide evidence of a negative RT-PCR test at check-in. Check with your airline before you travel.”
“If you arrive in Madeira or Porto Santo without an RT-PCR test, you will be required to take one at the airport and await the result in government-provided accommodation.”
For Britons, it is still currently illegal to travel abroad but this rule is set to end on May 17.
Once holidays can go ahead Britons will be subject to a traffic light system.
The system will list countries as red, amber and green.
Green countries will have the least restrictions on return to the UK – and it is predicted by travel experts that Portugal will be among the green destinations.
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