Spain and Portugal holidays could go ahead from May but with strict Covid conditions

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Spain and Portugal are both popular holiday destinations for Britons, attracting an average of 18 million and three million UK visitors yearly. Currently, travel to both nations is off the cards amid national lockdown restrictions.

However, this could change as soon as May according to officials.

The Spanish government has suggested Britons could be allowed to visit the Canary and Balearic islands as long as they provide a negative COVID-19 test, according to Mail Online.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s tourism minister Rita Marques has said she hopes the nation will soon allow tourists who have either had their Covid vaccination or test negative for the virus.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: “I do believe that Portugal will soon allow restriction-free travel, not only for vaccinated people, but those who are immune or who test negative. We hope to welcome British tourists from 17 May.”

She also stated the Covid situation in Portugal is “stable”, adding: “Everything will be ready by mid-May.”

It is not certain when the UK Government will give foreign holidays the green light, but there is hope within the travel sector that it will be as soon as May.

From April, the Global Travel Taskforce will reconvene to discuss whether travel abroad is both safe and possible.

There is also the possibility travel corridors could be reinstated in the coming months.

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According to Spain’s Tourism Minister Fernando Valdés the nation is in “discussions” with the UK over “green corridors.”

Speaking to Bloomberg, Mr Valdés said: “For us, the British market is our main market. But obviously, since we are a member of the European Union, the solutions have first to be part of the discussions in the EU.

“And obviously if that cannot be reached, we will be thinking of other corridors like green corridors with third countries that can help us restart tourism flows.”

Despite the claims, Boris Johnson has not given any confirmation on whether or not something akin to travel corridors will be put in place.

Currently, Spain is banning Britons from entering the country unless they have an essential reason to do so, or they are a legal resident.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) explains: “On 22 December 2020, Spain introduced travel restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea.

“These measures have been extended until 6pm (GMT+1) on 16 March 2021 (5pm / GMT in the Canary Islands), with the exception of Spanish or Andorran nationals and those legally resident in Spain or Andorra.”

Meanwhile, flights between the UK and Portugal are not operating due to concerns over variants of the virus.

Britons who are in Portugal and hope to return to the UK will have to do so via an alternative route.

They will then be subject to 10 days of quarantine in a Government approved hotel.

Travel to Portugal is also limited to EU and EEA nationals and their family members, official residents or Portugal, or those travelling for “essential purposes”.

The FCDO adds: “If you are travelling to Portugal as a resident, be prepared to show evidence of your residence status, such as your residence card or certificate, to your airline and to the immigration officer on arrival.”

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