Portugal flights face mass cancellation from May 17 with TUI warning of border closures

Portugal flights face mass cancellation from May 17 with TUI warning of border closures


AIRLINES and tour operators may be forced to cancel flights to Portugal from Monday, after fears the country's borders will remain closed.

Despite the country being added to the UK green list, allowing quarantine-free travel from May 17, current EU restrictions may still ban Brits from entering the country.

The country has also extended its "state of calamity" until May 30, despite being due to open their borders from Sunday.

Thousands of families are facing having their flights cancelled, after airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair launched thousands of flights following the government announcement.

TUI warned they may be forced to cancel flights, telling Sky News: "We will only take people on holiday if FCDO travel advice allows and borders are open. We therefore await an update from Portuguese officials.

"Should both of the above not be in place on the 17th May we will cancel flights and offer customers a full refund, or let them change to another holiday for free."

However, easyJet has told passengers that they still plan to resume flights from Monday.

Portuguese MP Cristovao Norte said a decision should be taken "immediately" over whether British tourists can travel to Portugal from May 17.

He told BBC Breakfast: "We are today going to make an urgent inquiry asking the (Portuguese) government whether or not the English travel can come to Portugal next Monday because we are three days ahead from 17th and no one is sure what is going to happen."

Asked if the decision could change between now and Monday, he said: "It's possible but I'm not sure what's going to happen.

"Yesterday there was a council of ministers and the minister responsible told the press they didn't have a definitive decision."  

The lockdown extension could also wreck plans to hold the Champions League final in Porto on May 29.

Up to 20,000 Man City and Chelsea fans are planning to descend on the country for the all-English final.

Nervous Brits have taken to social media, fearing last-minute cancellations.

One person wrote: "I am due to travel on 28th to Madeira and literally paid for our testing kits two days ago. No idea what’s going on."

Another person asked: "I have a flight to Portugal Monday it is illegal to go there so why I am I being charged to change it."

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Only four of the countries on the green list are welcoming Brits, with destinations including Australia and New Zealand not opening their borders to tourists.

While Brits won't have to quarantine when returning to the UK from a green destination, a pre-arrival test and a Covid test on day two are still required.

The rest of Europe is on the amber list, which requires a 10-day home quarantine.

TUI has since launched cheap Covid test packages to encourage Brits to go on holiday, which start from just £20.

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