Travel news latest: Portugal could soon be added to holiday green list


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 24.6 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.

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