Britual holidaymakers hoping to leave for Portugal as soon as UK travel restrictions are lifted face uncertainty after the national government decided to extend its lockdown.
From May 17, the restriction to ‘stay in the UK’ will be lifted, meaning people will be able to travel to Green List countries, including Portugal.
But guidance published Thursday on the Portuguese government’s website said ministers had approved a decision to maintain “the state of calamity” at least until May 30.
Thousands of British football fans are hoping to travel to the city of Porto for the all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29.
UEFA had previously confirmed that 6,000 tickets would be made available to each of the finalists, with the final capacity limit at the Estadio do Dragao still to be determined.
Portuguese Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said in a briefing Thursday that she had “no information to give at the moment” when asked if restrictions on travel from the UK would be soon to be lifted.
“The work is ongoing and as soon as a decision is made it will be announced, but no decision has been taken at this cabinet meeting,” she said.
Ms Vieira da Silva said under current plans for the Champions League final a series of restrictions would apply to UK fans.
In addition to the ticket sales limit, fans will have to fly in charter planes, arriving and departing “on the same day,” the BBC said.
Ms Vieira da Silva described the plans as “a bubble situation”, with fans passing through a separate area of the airport and needing a negative coronavirus test before traveling.
Department of Transport guidelines warn that many Green List countries still have restrictions on UK travelers.
He advises passengers to check all entry and testing requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice for Portugal before booking travel.
It is understood that the UK government has had discussions with Portuguese officials this week to discuss plans to unlock travel between the two countries.
The government is also in talks with the European Commission on how to safely reopen travel routes on the continent, it is understood.
During the “state of calamity,” entry into Portugal is only allowed if you are a returning resident, according to information on the FCDO website.
Entry of non-residents is restricted for essential purposes from the UK and other non-EU countries, and from EU or European Economic Area countries where the case rate is greater than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
“Essential purposes” are defined as travel to live with immediate family members or for professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.
To enter Portugal, proof of a negative Covid-19 test passed 72 hours before departure is required.
Those without proof of a negative test may be denied permission to board a flight or be forced to self-quarantine in government-approved accommodation upon arrival.