Portugal 'hopeful' for UK travel to begin in May says expert
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Holidays are set to resume from May 17 under the Government’s traffic light system, with the “green” list due to be unveiled this week. In recent days, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has been quietly making changes to some of its travel advisories for specific countries.
Some experts have suggested this could be a hint towards which countries might make it onto the green list.
Portugal, alongside the Canary Islands and some of the Greek islands, has had its travel advisory warning against all non-essential travel removed.
At the time of writing, the FCDO’s travel advice page for Portugal states: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to the autonomous region of the Azores, based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”
Following the removal of the Greece and Spain travel advisories, CEO of the PC Agency Paul Charles told Sky News: “This morning the Foreign Office, perhaps accidentally, has updated its own website pages to also add the likes of Kos, Rhodes, Canary Islands, Zakinthos, Corfu and Crete among others to its list of places now acceptable to travel to and that is very encouraging.
“That suggests the list could be much wider.”
The removal of Portugal’s travel warning could mean it is set for a place on the green list.
Mr Charles previously predicted Portugal would be one of the European countries initially included on the Government’s green list.
By looking at “risk” data used by the Government, the PC Agency was able to determine a list of predicted countries.
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In a Twitter update, the travel expert wrote: “These are our latest expectations for traffic light colour categories from May 17.
“These are based on vaccine rates, infection rates, evidence of variants and data quality.
“We are keeping pretty well all of Europe in Amber except Malta, Gibraltar and Portugal which we expect to be green.”
Britons will be able to return from green list countries without the need for quarantine upon their return.
They will, however, be required to take both pre-and post-departure tests.
Holidaymakers will also be subject to Portugal’s entry requirements upon arrival.
Currently, Portugal is only allowing UK residents to enter if they are travelling for “essential reasons” such as “to live with immediate family members, or for professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.”
Britons may also enter Portugal if they can provide proof they are a legal resident.
While the Government has remained tight-lipped over which countries are to be given the “green” light, more information is expected to be revealed before the end of the week.
The ban on international travel is then due to be lifted on May 17.
Despite the UK’s COVID-19 data providing positive, the Prime Minister has warned holidaymakers should be “cautious” when making overseas plans.
“We do want to do some opening up on May 17 but I don’t think that the people of this country want to see an influx of disease from anywhere else,” PM Boris Johnson told reporters earlier in the week.
“I certainly don’t and we have got to be very, very tough, and we have got to be as cautious as we can while we continue to open up.”
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