Officials in Lisbon believe Britain has coronavirus ‘under control’ and want quarantine-free travel between the two countries to restart from this Saturday. Picture: franky1st/Pixabay.
Officials in Lisbon believe Britain has coronavirus ‘under control’ and want quarantine-free travel between the two countries to restart from this Saturday. Picture: franky1st/Pixabay.

Portugal ready to offer quarantine-free holidays from this weekend

By DAVID CHURCHILL, MARIO LEDWITH AND JOHN STEVENS Time of article published Jun 2, 2020

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The holiday dreams of millions of Britons were given a boost on Monday night after Portugal and Greece said they were ready to welcome back UK tourists within days.

Officials in Lisbon believe Britain has coronavirus "under control" and want quarantine-free travel between the two countries to restart from this Saturday.

Greece’s tourism minister Harry Theocharis told the Mail the epidemic was moving "in the right direction" in the UK and restrictions could be dropped for Britons from June 15.

The interventions increased pressure on Downing Street to re-think its plan for a "blanket" 14-day quarantine amid a growing backlash from MPs at being denied a vote on the measures.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel will on Tuesday introduce the regulations in Parliament to come into effect from next Monday. But they will be brought as a statutory instrument, which does not automatically go to a vote. 

MPs among a cross-party group of at least 40 who are critical of the plans on Monday night voiced their fury. They want the UK government to leave open the option of creating "air bridges" – which would allow tourists between two countries to visit without needing to quarantine – to salvage as much of the summer holiday season as possible and help keep the hard-hit tourism industry afloat. They say, instead of quarantine, arrivals to the UK could be subject to health checks or testing.

Industry chiefs say millions of Britons are desperate for a foreign getaway, but the blanket quarantine policy has all but cancelled summer holidays.

Daily Mail

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