British travellers could be turned away from holidaying in Portugal next week, despite the country being deemed as “green” on the government’s traffic light system.
While the UK is set to lift its travel ban from on May 17, allowing British tourists to travel without quarantine restrictions to destinations on the “green” list, the European Union’s (EU) non-essential travel ban for non-EU states is not expected to be lifted before this date.
Therefore, under EU legislation, British tourists will not be able to enter Portugal unless it is for an essential reason. Sadly, a holiday is not deemed essential.
What complicates the matter further is that Lisbon currently holds the EU presidency. Therefore, if Portugal were to reverse the travel ban, this could cause strain between the other states.
A Portuguese cabinet is, however, expected to meet today to discuss the issue and try to come up with a solution.
Should Portugal and the EU not come to an agreement, and British tourists not be permitted to enter Portugal for leisure purposes, holidaymakers should contact their tour operator in the first instance to understand whether they can cancel their trip or move their holiday to a later date.
If travellers are not able to do either of the above, they should then contact their travel insurance provider to understand their options.