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Quarantine-free holidays to Portugal may be back on the cards this summer, as case rate and vaccine data suggest that the country could be added to the green list next month.
Portugal was removed from the UK’s red list in March, but speculation has centred around the possibility of ‘island corridors’ this summer. Now, however, the addition of mainland Portugal to the green list looks likely, as the country’s average daily case rate remains consistently below 500. For context, the UK’s own average daily case rate is over 2,000.
“Portugal should be green from 17th May,” tweeted Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency. “No variants, low infection rate, increasing vaccination rollout and good genomic sequencing. Interestingly just 0.02% of its infections this year have been the #Brazil variant. Vast majority were #Kent variant.”
Meanwhile, Portugal’s vaccine drive is continuing apace, with 21.5 per cent of its population having had their first inoculation. It is understood that the UK will grant green list status to countries if 30 per cent of their population has received their first dose.
The nation lifted its ban on UK flights in March, and tourism minister Rita Marques told industry leaders this month that 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 3 million Britons visited Portugal in 2019, before the pandemic.
Scroll down for more on this, and today’s other top stories.
Covid passports for overseas travel could arrive by late June
‘Covid passports’ to allow travel to the US, France, Italy and Germany could be in place by June 28 under plans being considered by ministers.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has called a meeting of his G7 counterparts at the summit in Cornwall on June 11-13 to create a system that could allow vaccinated travellers free entry into countries around the world.
He wants to establish agreed international standards under which a “green list” country could accept digital proof of vaccination, a negative test or immunity as a condition of entry.
The aim is to have pilot bilateral “travel corridors” where holidaymakers and business travellers could use Covid passports as early as June 28 to sidestep tests and quarantine if they are vaccinated.
Welcome to today’s live travel blog. Before we begin, here’s a quick recap of yesterday’s talking points:
- Scotland reopens to fellow Britons as restrictions ease
- Vaccinated Americans will be welcome to visit Europe this summer
- Travel bubble plans for Singapore and Hong Kong
- Lockdown in Bangkok as Thailand cases soar
- Holidays in ‘green list’ countries could still be banned by FCDO
- Italy lifts more restrictions but 10pm curfew remains
- Rise of the ‘delaycation’ as holidaymakers book autumn getaways over summer
Now, on with today’s headlines.