The Portuguese government has extended the country’s state of emergency for a further two weeks to 30 May, casting doubt on hopes of a resumption of leisure travel to the popular destination on Monday (17 May).
Portugal was the premier destination among the 12 countries named on the UK government’s first travel green list last Friday (7 May); however, despite the confident tone struck in recent weeks by Portugal’s tourism secretary Rita Marques and the country’s tourism authority, airlines and operators have been left in limbo by the government’s decision – just days before international travel is due to restart.
The country is also awaiting clearance from the European Commission to open up to third country nationals, who are currently banned from travelling to the EU for non-essential purposes. The Times reports Portugal was expecting the commission to lift the ruling on Sunday (16 May) but that this may now slip to next week.
From Monday, people in England, Wales and Scotland, which have all adopted the same traffic light system laid out by the UK government, will be able to travel to Portugal with no return quarantine requirement.
But Portugal’s cabinet office minister Mariana Vieira da Silva on Thursday (13 May) signalled no decision had yet been made on whether Portugal would lift its restrictions on arrivals from the UK.
She said work was ongoing and that a decision would be announced as soon as possible, but stressed no decision was taken at a meeting of Portugal’s cabinet on Thursday. The country’s "state of calamity", which is extended in 15-day increments, has been rolled over to 30 May.