Travel news latest: Portugal to avoid quarantine and tests with travel pass plan

Portugal is to do everything in its power to welcome back British holidaymakers this summer without the need for quarantine or additional testing, its tourism minister has said. 

Rita Marques was speaking after the European Union agreed to push forward with plans for a bloc-wide coronavirus passport to kickstart Europe’s travel industry. 

She told an online conference Portugal would try “at all costs to avoid quarantines and additional Covid-19 tests” for international arrivals, adding that she believed the UK will remain its largest inbound market. More than 3million Britons visited Portugal in 2019, before the pandemic.

“The Portugal brand is strong, particularly among the British,” Marques said. 

The EU is set to discuss the introduction of its travel pass next month before the UK moves forward with the next stage of its roadmap, when overseas holidays could resume on May 17. 

Greece has already said it will permit entry to British visitors who have been vaccinated against coronavirus or can prove a negative test.

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The UK’s most popular destinations

Spain is the most popular destination for the UK, and it has long been thus, but news that Portugal is keen to welcome back tourists this summer will be music to the ears of more than 3.3million Britons. 

In the last year of full data pre-pandemic, 2019, Portugal was the eighth most popular destination for the British.

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Here are five stories we expect to follow today:

  • Greece to reopen to Britons from next week
  • Middle seat on planes a Covid risk, says CDC
  • British Airways is poised to restart US flights
  • Cost of PCR testing is beginning to fall after pressure on ‘profiteers’
  • UK continues to book up as staycation popularity soars