Holidays 2020: Latest travel rules for Turkey, Portugal and France as restrictions change

Holidays have been relegated to a distant dream due to the nightmare of the coronavirus crisis. At the peak of the virus, global travel ground to a complete halt. Thankfully, the world seems to be showing signs of recovery.


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A number of countries are starting to ease lockdown restrictions in a slow return to normality.

The UK is doing the same but strict rules still remain in place concerning travel.

Foreign travel is only permitted for “essential” purposes – and it’s not known when this restriction will be lifted.

But what about elsewhere?

These are the latest travel rules for three destinations much-loved by Britons – France, Turkey and Portugal.


It is not yet known exactly when tourists will be allowed back across the Channel.

Currently, only essential international travel is permitted although domestic travel is encouraged.

France began easing lockdown measures at the start of last week.

“France began progressive deconfinement from 11 May,” explained the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

“The Government has categorised each department as ‘red’ or ‘green’, dictating the extent to which measures can be relaxed.

Certain confinement measures may still apply depending on the department you are in.

“Most of the north and east of France, including Paris, are currently classified as red.”

All ski resorts in France are closed with immediate effect until further notice.

Face masks are obligatory on public transport for anyone over 11.

To be able to travel within or transit through France, you will need to complete a travel declaration to certify your reason for travel.

The FCO explained that the availability of transport from France to the UK is subject to change.

“Many airlines and cross-Channel operators are operating very substantially reduced services for passenger traffic,” said the government. “Passengers should check with their operator before departing, and may still be subject to severe disruption.

“Travel options to transport hubs, such as airports, ferry terminals and train stations are also majorly disrupted and options to buy food and refreshments are reduced.”


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The Turkish embassy has said the country hopes to welcome tourists in the near future.

“Turkey is now expected to start going back to normal very soon,” a spokesperson said.

“We hope to start the holiday season in June, by gradually resuming international flights to Turkey.

“Of course, resumption of flights will depend on the progress of pandemic, quarantine measures being taken around the world and general outlook.

“Nevertheless, arrangements have been made to host guests in reliable, healthy and hygienic conditions throughout their visit to Turkey.”

Currently, travellers who are not Turkish nationals or residents of Turkey are not permitted to enter the country, with an international flight ban implemented in Turkey until June 1.

“At present there is no information about how soon airlines will resume their operations after it is lifted,” said the FCO. “Occasional ad hoc flights are still operating.”

On May, 18 the Turkish Government announced a nationwide four-day curfew from May 23-26 over Eid holiday period.

The wearing of masks is obligatory throughout Turkey in crowded places and on public transport.


It is is not yet known exactly when holidays will be possible to Portugal.

Portugal began its de-escalation plan on May 4, with each stage due to last two weeks but this will depend on the continued control of the COVID-19 outbreak in Portugal.

Those arriving by air to mainland Portugal will be subject to health screening on arrival.

Your temperature will be checked and if it is high or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities.

Cruise ships can berth at ports on mainland Portugal, but passengers can only disembark if they are Portuguese nationals or residents.

As for Madeira, travellers will be subject to health screening on arrival and 14-days’ mandatory quarantine.

If you are travelling to the Azores, you will be asked to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival.

Use of non-surgical masks is mandatory in enclosed spaces, public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned and public transport capacity is limited to two thirds.

“Beaches are currently accessible only for exercising and will be subject to measures on capacity and social distancing when full access is allowed from 6 June,“ explained the FCO.

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