Portugal intent on ‘rolling out red carpet’ to Brits after Brexit no matter what EU Covid rules imply

UK papers are warning today that UK holidaymakers could be barred from EU countries after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31. This is so ‘academic’ as to be laughable. No country that relies on British tourists to the extent that southern European countries do would ‘bar them from entry’. Portugal certainly has plans to welcome the Brits as it always has, irrespective of the pandemic. Indeed the latest plans are a form of ‘rolling out the red carpet’.

Only last week, Portuguese ambassador to the UK Manuel Lobo Antunes was giving the Telegraph chapter and verse on how Portugal plans to ‘do whatever it takes’ to make the country attractive to British tourists (click here).

It involves special UK passport holder lines at airports (to help Brits from suffering delays); health passports (to make up for the loss of the European Health Insurance Cards) and the waiving of any visa requirements.

“We have always said that we would like to have a situation that is as close as possible to the situation we had before Brexit,” the ambassador explained.

But UK papers seem to think the EU’s ‘Covid safety’ rules will put a spoke in well-oiled plans, stopping Brits from entering the EU space on a par with citizens from Albania and Turkey.

Only way down in the scare-mongering texts do reports concede: “EU member states can override the European council recommendations in theory, should they wish to” – which clearly any country benefiting from British tourism will.

The truth – again not visited by today’s reports that shout: “UK holidaymakers barred from EU after January 1” – is that Portugal has never imposed any kind of entry requirement on visiting Brits through the pandemic: they don’t even have to show a negative Covid test.

The reality – as can be seen by a much more positive story uploaded on our site earlier this morning – is that Brits are already researching holiday destinations in Europe for 2021, and Portugal is at the top of the list (click here).