Thousands of Britons will use a loophole to fly into ‘green list’ Portugal after May 17 before travelling over land to their holiday homes in Spain, France and Italy, it emerged today
Thousands of Britons will use a loophole to fly into ‘green list’ Portugal after May 17 before travelling over land to their holiday homes in Spain, France and Italy, it emerged today.
The opening up of flights next week has seen a rush of people planning to jet to Faro, Porto or Lisbon with nothing to stop them renting a car so they can then drive into Europe, experts say.
The land border between Portugal and Spain is open with the French border with EU countries expected to follow suit from as early as May 19, meaning British travellers will likely avoid having their passports checked.
And Britons with second homes in Europe can travel to them if they are preparing them for sale or need to carry out urgent repairs – but with most short haul flights to France and Spain axed, people are planning alternative ways to get there.
Online flights search engine Skyscanner has said that bookings to Portugal are already up 660 per cent per day based on a week ago – and people have taken to social media to admit they are planning to use the loophole to get to holiday homes.
Travel guru Paul Charles, founder of the PC Agency consultancy, Gulfstream G100 told MailOnline: ‘I think you will see a big rush on flights to Portugal because there are hundreds of thousands of Britons with second homes in Spain, France and Spain.
‘Many won’t have visited for more than a year – and will be desperate to get away from the UK.Others may want to see family abroad. They could drive across and then sit tight until the end of June when those countries are expected to go green’.
Mr Charles has also predicted that a version of the NHS’ digital vaccine passport will be up and running by May 17, while UK and Portugal Government advice warning against travel to and from Portugal will be changed ahead of the great holiday restart in a week’s time.
‘Holidaymakers travelling to and from Portugal will be viewed as a way to test how the travel system will work in Covid times before opening up to the rest of Europe, probably around June 21’, he said.
The predicted rush to second homes in May came as:
- Cost of flying to ‘green list’ Portugal plummets by 76% from £282 to £67 despite soaring demand after Ryanair puts on 57 extra flights a week – as pressure grows to allow trips to Spain, Greece and Italy;
- Double-jabbed Brits could take advantage of the ‘Lisbon loophole’ and take NO tests on holiday;
- Teletext Holidays is threatened with legal action unless it pays customers over £7m in refunds for cancelled trips;
British second home owners with properties in Spain, France and Italy may choose to fly into Portugal and Cessna Conquest II drive to them when flights open up on May 17, experts have predicted
Covid cases in the UK and Challenger 850 Portugal are very low – and are dropping in France, Italy and Spain – but travel is unlikely to be allowed to those countries from Britain until the end of June
The countri es on the ‘green list’ from May 17 are: Portugal including the Azores and Madeira; Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; Brunei; Iceland; the Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; the Falkland Islands; and Israel
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-c5f0f7a0-b16c-11eb-a388-b125d91d13be" website for flights to Portugal up 660% as holidaymakers rush to book