Portuguese hotels will welcome back British tourists from Monday May 17
The national tourism board said that Portugal will let holidaymakers from the UK to enter from Monday, prompting a sigh of relief from hotel owners already overwhelmed with bookings after Britain's go-ahead for travel.
Britain added Portugal to a "green" list of foreign destinations a week ago, allowing the British to travel there without needing to quarantine for COVID-19 upon coming back home.
EU rules prohibit non-essential travel from outside the bloc, making Portugal's decision to allow in UK tourists an exception.
"We're very excited about this news. The repercussion of the decision is being felt by every type of hotel, from hostels to five-star," said Eliderico Viegas, head of the Algarve regional hotel association.
The Turismo de Portugal authority said that tourists from Britain must present evidence of a negative PCR taken 72 hours before departure.
Airline EasyJet, which added about a hundred thousand extra seats for flights to Portugal over the summer months, and British travel agency Thomas Cook, where bookings to Portugal increased three times over the past week, were also happy about the news.
"We have hundreds of customers with their cases packed," a spokesperson for Thomas Cook said.
On Monday, EU leaders will discuss a proposal to ease travel restrictions for people from outside the bloc who were fully vaccinated or came from countries with low case numbers.