The UK government published a list of countries last week that can be travelled to without Britons facing quarantine rules on their return. Despite being a very popular holiday destination with Britons, Portugal did not make the cut which left many British holidaymakers disappointed. It comes as Portugal has experienced a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in its Algarve region and Lisbon.
Now, Portuguese locals and expats have decided to take matters into their own hands.
According to Olive Press, expats in Portugal are trying to help Britons holiday in the country by advising them to travel via Spain.
Several posts on social media also show expats allegedly offering to pick Britons up from Spanish airports and drive them across the Spain-Portugal border.
One post is advising Britons to fly to Seville Airport and then take a bus from Seville to Portugal.
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Portugal holidays: It comes as Portugal has experienced a sudden spike in coronavirus cases
Another local uploaded a graphic and wrote: “Here are some obvious ways to go past this ridiculous travel ban.”
The controversial move is not illegal but has been frowned upon by the UK Foreign Office.
A spokesperson told the Olive Press: “Our travel advice puts British nationals’ safety first. Travel advice is designed to help people stay safe.
“Portugal is an important friend and partner who has welcomed many British tourists over many years.
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“We want to see a return to normal international travel with Portugal, but we can only act once we are certain that we can do so safely and responsibly.
“At the current time we are advising against travel to mainland Portugal.
“The requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Portugal remains in place, including those who have returned from Portugal by transiting through other countries.
“We call on all travellers to act responsibly in order to minimise the risk to UK public health of visitors importing infection.”
Portugal holidays: The controversial move is not illegal but has been frowned upon
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website says islands surrounding Portugal such as Madeira and the Azores are exempt from FCO advice.
The website reads: “From 4 July, Madeira and the Azores are exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.
“This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
“However, the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, remains in place.”
The FCO added that anyone arriving in mainland Portugal will be subject to a health screening.
Quarantine exemption list
The website added: “Your temperature will be checked and if it is high or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities at the airport.
“You may be required to take a COVID-19 test and to self-isolate at your accommodation until the test results are known.”
The country’s prime minister, Antonio Costa has said that his foreign secretary has spoken to the UK’s counterpart, Dominic Raab over the travel quarantine exemption.
Mr Costa said: “The foreign minister had a long conversation with his counterpart.
“It is very important we build a confident relationship.”