Portugal: Jet2 are restarting Algarve holidays says Simon Calder
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The cold UK weather will seem a world away for the first tourists stepping off their planes at Faro Airport. The top temperature in rainy tomorrow is forecast to be 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) – a full ten degrees lower than the maximum for most parts of the Algarve where the sun is due to shine all week and tomorrow’s minimum temperature will be two degrees Celsius warmer than Manchester.
Around 5,500 British holidaymakers are due to arrive at Faro Airport on 17 flights from the UK on the first day after a tourism ban is lifted following Boris Johnson’s decision to give Portugal green light status.
Travel firms have reported a surge in bookings to Portugal following the May 7 green light announcement.
Algarve travel chiefs have said hotels are “virtually fully-booked” for the end of May which coincides with UK school half-term.
Today it emerged Algarve Tourist Board Turismo do Algarve will greet some of the first British tourists off planes reaching Faro Airport with face masks and promotional brochures.
Face coverings are compulsory in public spaces indoors and outdoors, although Portugal’s Tourism Minister Rita Marques was quick to point out they could be taken off on the beach in an interview with BBC Breakfast.
A spokesman for Turismo do Algarve said: “We will be at Faro Airport tomorrow to receive passengers from the UK in a welcoming ceremony our president Joao Fernandes will attend.
“British tourists who reach the Algarve between 9am and 8pm will receive a kit including face masks and a promotional brochure for the region with tips and suggestion so they can enjoy their stay safely.
“We’re expecting 17 flights from the UK tomorrow with the arrival of 5,500 people.”
Portugal is the first major European holiday destination to get Downing Street green light status.
Neighbours Spain are on the amber list, meaning returning holidaymakers have to self-isolate for ten days when they return.
The country has yet to lift a ban on letting tourists in from outside the EU. It was expected to remain in place until May 31, although Spain’s Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said last week she anticipated it could be lifted by the end of this week.
Portugal announced late last week it was lifting its ban on British tourists, ending concern thousands of holidaymakers from the UK would be denied entry into the country after boarding planes for their first taste of Southern European sunshine in months.
All visitors must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight departing.
Gibraltar, where all the adult population has been offered vaccination against coronavirus, has also been put on the UK’s green list. Its first ‘green list’ flight from the UK touches down tomorrow morning.
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