Tour operator Jet2 plans to resume flights and holidays to Portugal’s Algarve region next week after the country was added to the UK’s travel corridor list.
Multiple weekly flights to the southern Portuguese city will be reintroduced from Belfast International, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle airports.
It follows Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealing that passengers arriving in the UK from Portugal will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days, with the change coming into effect from 4am on Saturday.
Portugal has also been exempted from the FCO’s global advisory against non-essential travel.
The prospect of quarantine-free holidays for Britons will come as a boost to Portugal’s tourism sector, with the country previously expressing its disappointment over being left off the safe travel list for much of the summer.
Jet2 is already operating flights to the Portuguese island of Madeira from Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and London Stansted airports.
It said onboard cleaning and “in-resort care” following Covid-19 guidelines, were among measures in place to help ensure flights and holidays were safe.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “We welcome this change in government advice which means that customers can once again look forward to enjoying their well-deserved holidays in the stunning Algarve region.
“With flights and holidays operating to Faro, in addition to Madeira, we are thrilled to be offering customers two fantastic options in Portugal when they’re looking to book their well-deserved holiday away from the gloom.”
Claudia Miguel, UK director at Turismo de Portugal, said: “We have consistently maintained our unwavering confidence in the safety of Portugal, and we are delighted to have arrived at a decision which we feel far better reflects the reality of the situation in Portugal.”
A spokesperson for travel trade organisation Abta said: “Portugal is a popular destination among British holidaymakers and a place where the weather usually remains pleasant late into winter time.
“The news that holidaymakers can still enjoy a much deserved break in this country will be welcomed by travellers and the travel industry alike.”
Ben Hitchcock, marketing director at cruise and tour provider Riviera Travel, added the firm would restart Douro river cruises in September.
He said: “Customers can book with confidence. Over the last few months, our team have been working hard with our suppliers and international health experts so our customers can rest assured that their wellbeing is our top priority.
“Travel with Riviera is a great experience at anytime, but with limited numbers on board as well as quieter tourist sites, those choosing a Riviera Travel river cruise will have an intimate and special holiday experience.”
But Which? Travel editor Rory Boland commented: “The addition of Portugal is likely to come too late to help many struggling holiday companies who are at the point of collapse, as summer trips have already been cancelled.
“Which? has been asking the Government what support it will provide to the travel industry for several months.
“That support is now urgently needed.”
Published: 21/08/2020 by Radio NewsHub