Portugal holidays could face EU travel ban which would turn away British tourists

The EU is recommending a non-essential travel ban which could stop British tourists from entering…

The EU is recommending a non-essential travel ban which could stop British tourists from entering Portugal even after May 17, a report says.

Holiday travel to Portugal from England from May 17 is due to be approved by the UK Government, with no requirement to quarantine on arrival into the England from Portugal, although negative Covid-19 tests could be necessary.

Airlines including Ryanair and EasyJet are selling tickets to fly to destinations including the Algarve and Lisbon, while Google searches for travel to Portugal increased by 3,000% just ten minutes after it was announced the country is due to be added to the UK travel green list.

But according to the Times, the EU is reportedly going to recommend a ban on travel into the bloc from countries which are not part of it, including the UK, which formally left the EU at end of 2020.

The Times quotes a senior Portuguese official, who said: “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.

“This is an awkward position for the presidency to be in.”

Portugal is set to discuss travel into the country from the UK today. Its ‘situation of calamity’ lockdown is set to end on May 16, a day before Downing Street will allow people to fly out of the UK for holidays.

Travel agent On the Beach confirmed it is suspending sales for holiday travel until August, at least, although rivals like Tui continue to sell trips, while EasyJet is adding extra seats for flights to Portugal.

Simon Cooper, On the Beach’s chief executive, said: “In the same way that 85 per cent of consumers don’t want to book travel to red or amber destinations because there is no guarantee they will turn green in time for their holiday, equally there is every possibility destinations designated green will turn amber or red prior to customers’ departure.”