Portugal ‘extremely unlikely’ to be added to UK air bridge list despite drop in cases

Portugal is a popular holiday destination with Britons which is known for its stunning scenery and rich culture. However, despite its popularity and decrease in coronavirus cases, the country still remains absent from the UK’s quarantine exemption list. This means that anyone flying from Portugal to the UK currently faces 14 days in quarantine on their arrival.

But while cases remain low compared to neighbouring Spain, an industry source has revealed that it would be a huge “gamble” to include Portugal on the “air bridge” list.

The country’s coronavirus cases are currently a lot lower than France, Spain and Italy.

They added: “While cases have been dropping overall, the case incidence remains high.

“Removing Portugal would be a bit of a gamble at this point.”

At the time of writing, the country has recorded 52,945 cases of coronavirus.

This is a fraction of Spain’s 373,692 cases.

The UK’s case rate is currently at 312,789.

But despite reporting fewer cases, the country’s cases per 100,000 are still above 20 at 24.6 per 100,000 people in Portugal.

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Portugal’s Ministry of State and Foreign Affairs said that the country’s absence from the list is a decision that is not supported by facts.

They said: “It is a decision that is neither substantiated nor supported by the facts.”

It comes as Spain was removed from the “air bridge” list after a spike in cases last month.

The country now has the highest case rate in Europe.

Spain saw huge spikes in the regions of Aragon, Navarra and Catalonia.

The move from the government has meant that fewer Britons are now choosing to holiday in Spain.

Jon Thorne, an expert at Skyscanner, said government changes to the “air bridge” list directly impact consumer behaviour.

He said: “The significant drop in searches and bookings to Spain from the UK on Skyscanner last week was a direct reaction to the current restrictions in the UK and uncertainty around travel to and from holiday favourites there.

“Over the last few months, we have seen a direct correlation in search and booking data following changes in guidance.”

Belgium, The Bahamas and the Andorra were also removed last week from the travel corridor list.

However, Malaysia and Brunei were added to the list.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that ministers will “not hesitate” to reimpose quarantine rules for arrivals from other countries in the future.

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