The FCO today released a list of countries and territories no longer advised against visiting for all but essential reasons. Only two areas of Portugal were listed on there.
Where is more, Portugal remains on the list of required 14-day quarantine upon return to the UK. Britons travelling back from any part of Portugal will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on return to the UK.
This is because Portugal has been omitted from a list of countries participating in an “air bridge” with the UK.
While Madeira and Azores Islands were initially included in air bridge plans, they now are not.
Now the President of Tourism for the Portuguese government, Mr Luis Araújo, has issued a statement.
He stated the country is “disappointed” and claims “the entire national territory should have been appropriately included in the UK travel corridor owing to the successful containment of the outbreak.”
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Mr Araújo said: “It’s important to understand that the Portuguese tourism industry has been in operation for several weeks now, welcoming guests from around the world – entirely safely.
“British citizens are still able to visit Portugal.
“Madeira hasn’t recorded a single death since the beginning of the pandemic and has not seen an active case reported since 21st June. The Azores Islands represents just 0.4 percent of Portuguese cases since the beginning of the pandemic and has only three cases in total.
“Both the Madeira and Azores Islands are 100 percent ready to welcome British guests and have almost no risk of infection – yet remain on the list of destinations requiring quarantine upon return, when destinations proven to have higher infection rates are included.
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“Despite this, the FCO have today removed Madeira and the Azores Islands from a list of countries and territories for which advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel is issued.”
It went on: “We have to remain completely honest when voicing our bewilderment at such a decision and confusing message.”
He maintained Portugal was a safe place for Britons to travel.
In Lisbon currently there are no closures of quarantine.
The statement said hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, health services, gas stations and sports equipment maintain normal opening hours. The same applies to all museums, cultural facilities, etc.
There is also no limitation on the movement of residents or tourists and all transport is fully operational.
“We recall widespread praise from across Europe as recently as May for the handling of the pandemic in Portugal, in which time the situation has only improved,” Mr. Araújo said.
“As of July 1, the majority of the country took a positive step reducing to the minimum level of public restrictions, thus mirroring the improved situation.
“Since the beginning of May, the number of hospitalisations in Intensive Care Units has halved, overall hospitalisation is down 60 percent, deaths down 70 percent, and active cases at just 13,060 for the entire nation.
“Safety measures and adequate control saw Portugal become the first European destination to receive the ‘Travel Safe’ stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council. Our Clean & Safe hygiene protocol has been decisive in accounting for more than 18,000 voluntary memberships from various establishments in the sector and more than 20,000 staff across the hospitality sector trained to meet professional devised practices.
“We wish to place on record that Portugal is the 6th highest country in Europe for the number of people tested and traced for COVID-19. Having already completed more than 1.1 million tests, which account for more than 10 perent of the population, the virus has been controlled in a safe manner.
“Naturally, logic would suggest that if other nations followed such a measure, statistics may have been reflected differently.”
Were is included in the air bridge and will not be required to self-isolate for two weeks afterwards.
Countries that do no require quarantine
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire, Sint Eustatiius and Saba