Portugal will reopen its borders to UK tourists from Monday, although they will only be permitted to enter if they have had a negative PCR coronavirus test. 

The announcement is a sigh of relief for many after there was concern that tens of thousands of trips booked after the country was put on the Scottish Government’s green travel list would be cancelled.

The confusion was caused by Portugal’s ministers deciding on Thursday to continue its current level of coronavirus lockdown restrictions until May 30 at the earliest.

However, tourist body Visit Portugal have said in a statement today (Friday) that the minister of state for foreign affairs has announced that British tourists will be allowed to enter the country on May 17, but will have to have a RT-PCR test done 72 hours before departure. 

Holiday firms have experienced huge demand for trips to Portugal since the Scottish Government confirmed anyone entering from the country, which is on a new international travel 'Green List,' will not be required to quarantine on arrival.


Both EasyJet and Tui added extra seats and flights serving green-tier destinations  to accommodate the surge of people booked to fly to Portugal.

Responding to the news, Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “It’s green for go from Monday.

“Overseas travel will restart as scheduled in the Prime Minister’s road map and well done to Portugal for making it happen.

“Travel can be done safely and responsibly.

“We now need to see a wider green list from the start of June.”

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However, others in the industry don't think now is the time to be booking a holiday. 

Simon Cooper, chief executive of online travel agent On the Beach, said the situation “illustrates precisely why now is not the time to encourage new holiday bookings for this summer”.

The company stopped selling summer holidays on Wednesday due to a lack of “certainty or clarity” in relation to travel rules.