Portugal and UK ‘in talks’ over proposed air bridge

The UK is reportedly in talks with Portugal over a proposed air bridge – a travel corridor that would enable residents between two countries to holiday without the need to quarantine.

This air bridge would also allow Brits who visit Portugal to bypass the new quarantine regulations coming into play on June 8 , which state any incoming visitors from foreign countries must quarantine themselves for two weeks on arrival.

A source told Reuters that the talks were ‘still in an initial phase’.

The UK is the main source of tourism in Portugal – in 2019, 16 million visitors holidayed there and 20 per cent of them were Brits.

Portugal’s foreign ministry told Reuters that it ‘had requested additional information after the British quarantine decision’.

It continued: “Given the relevant reciprocal interests, the foreign ministry is confident that it will be possible to agree a solution that meets these interests, especially concerning the coming summer season.”

Portugal’s economy is tourism-dependent, accounting for 15 per cent of its GDP, and the summer season is where it truly shines, with visitors flocking to its picturesque beaches on the Algarve and taking city breaks to sunny Lisbon and Porto.

Earlier this month we reported that Portugal’s beaches will reopen from June 6 for local residents, but social distancing measures will be advised.

Air bridges could be our best bet at a summer holiday this year. Greece and Italy have announced they are easing their borders, with Greece starting its holiday season from June 15 , but Brits travelling there will still need to quarantine on their arrival back to the UK.

Japan has also announced it is considering enticing tourists by proposed plans to pay for half of their flights if they visit this year , which could mirror Sicily’s plan to do the same thing for tourists visiting in autumn.


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