UK Air Bridge to Portugal – is it a Bridge too Far?

I am dismayed to learn that Portugal is in negotiations with the UK to agree on an ‘air bridge’ by the end of June.

I may be having a senior moment but why actively encourage British tourists to come to Portugal when we have all worked so hard to protect the health service and spent weeks in lockdown only to throw open the floodgates to the UK which has over 281,000 reported cases (at the time of writing this) of Covid-19 (and rising) and nearly 40,000 deaths.

* Even Spain’s María Reyes Maroto said “British coronavirus figures “still have to improve” before Spain could receive tourists from the UK.” and will be resuming tourist activity gradually.

and

Regarding the United Kingdom, there have been talks with tour operators but British data still have to improve, because it’s important to ensure that the person comes well and then returns well.”

How many people in the UK carry the virus but have not been tested and then travel? What happens to tourists who become sick while they are here?

Although it’s been difficult we are VERY gradually adjusting our lives to the ‘new normal’. It is heartening to see people in Portugal wearing masks in shops, public areas, etc., and by and large, adhering to the social distancing advice as we work to protect each other. It’s a socially responsible team effort that has so far reduced the number of infections.

I understand Portugal needs to get the economy back on its feet but why not encourage Portuguese to holiday at home, or work with countries which have low infection rates? Yes, people need holidays but I can’t understand why risk a second wave of infection.

Maybe ‘Air Bridge’ with the UK should be renamed COVID Bridge or Corona Bridge. However, I genuinely hope in time I will eat my words and we don’t witness a sharp rise in infections with the influx of tourists to our sanctuary.

Anyways, with the tourist season almost upon us, we are already making preparations for a further ‘personal’ lockdown during the holiday season.

Which reminds me: stock up on toilet rolls and wine – Just joking!

Please share your thoughts.

*source: BBC

(DHSCgovuk –Twitter) https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk

15 thoughts on “UK Air Bridge to Portugal – is it a Bridge too Far?

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  1. Being a pretty good statistician and mathematician, I could not agree more with you !! We in Australia have worked humongously hard for our gains and . . .we are just getting to the stage of opening a few of our own state borders to encourage local holiday travel . . . anything to any other country will be months away !!! Economics or further deaths . . . come on !!! Have been looking at the still unfortunately sad IK figures daily . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks, EH. The stats speak volumes. IT feels like a betrayal of all the hard work to protect the HEalth system and the vulnerable. I think the key is to encourage more local travel. Australia is wise.

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  2. They need the business/ money that the tourists bring in. Otherwise the economy will go into free fall. I think that’s why the Portuguese government is allowing Brits to come here.

    Portugal relies very heavily on tourism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Annabelle, yes and that’s the problem. There is a fine balance. We’ve tried to support a local restaurant by ordering take-aways and was debating whether to go actually go out to eat … When we see our area in the Western ALgarve and Alentejo splashed all over the British newspapers as a safe destination I just hope it attracts the right type of tourists who will respect it and take the necessary precautions.

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  3. I have to agree with you, with the high UK figures I don’t think it’s safe to encourage British tourists or Spanish tourists to come to Portugal.
    In Australia our state borders are still closed for a few more weeks, and we only had 102 deaths in the whole of Australia and just over 7200 infections. All states are encouraging their residents to just holiday within their state and discover new places. Why go away when there is so much to be seen in your own country!
    I have to agree with our politicians who did a great job keeping us safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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