FCDO update on travel to mainland Portugal – 11.09.20.

Customers currently on holiday:

We hope that you continue to enjoy your holiday. If there are changes to your flight back to the UK, we will be in touch. Unless government advice changes, effective from 4am on 12 September 2020 you will have to self-isolate on return to England and N. Ireland for 14 days in line with amended government policy. The requirement to self-isolate for customers resident in Scotland and Wales is currently in effect.

Changes for travel to mainland Portugal

As of 10 September 2020 the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has extended the advice against all but essential travel to include mainland Portugal. For further advice please see www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

In line with this advice we are offering free of charge amendments * or full cancellations, on holidays departing to these destinations on a 14 day rolling basis.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

*Any increase in holiday cost will be applicable.

Previous FCDO updates to countries and territories exempted from all but essential travel advice.

On 3 July 2020 the UK government published a list of countries which were exempt from the advice against all but essential travel, meaning UK citizens could travel to the destinations on the list. Since publication there have been the following updates;

25 July – mainland Spain removed from list.

27 July – Balearic and Canary Islands removed from list.

13 August – The Netherlands, Malta, France and Monaco removed from list.

20 August – Croatia and Austria removed from list, Portugal added to list.

27 August  - Switzerland and Czech Republic removed from the list.

07 September - Crete, Mykonos and Santorini removed from the list

10 September  - Portugal and hungary removed from the list, Sweden added to the list

17 September - Slovenia removed from the list.

24 September  - Denmark removed from the list.

The full exempt countries and territories list can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel.


Changes to your holiday where travel restrictions have started to ease

Before you travel

Please seek up to date advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice about travel to, and within, your chosen destination. Please pay particular attention to any entry requirements; whether there is any need to provide a medical certificate, complete a specific form or undergo testing for Coronavirus Covid-19 before departing from the UK or on arrival at your destination.

As it is preferable for boarding passes to be presented on a mobile device, rather than as a print-out, we recommend online check-in is completed before starting your journey.  Additional checks may be in place, so give yourself plenty of time to get through airports, railway stations and ports.

Your journey

You will be required to wear a suitable protective facemask at various parts of your journey: on public transport, during private transfers, at your departure and arrival airports, and onboard aircraft, trains and ferries. New measures have been introduced at UK airports, railway stations and ports, such as readily available hand sanitiser stations and transport is likely to be frequently disinfected. Food and drink services throughout your journey may be unavailable or limited. 

At your destination

As our destinations re-open we remain committed to ensuring that all our guests enjoy their holiday, whilst respecting the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Given the existence of new health and hygiene requirements, certain amenities and facilities may be limited or unavailable.  The transfer to and from your accommodation may be in a larger vehicle, or it may be necessary for your party to travel in separate vehicles. It is possible that some facilities mentioned in our brochures or on our website are now not available. Social distancing measures, mandatory health screening and temperature checks may be in place in your accommodation, surrounding resort areas and on beaches. Restaurants, swimming pools, spas, gyms, children’s clubs and watersports services may be affected. You may be required to wear a protective facemask in certain areas and at certain times.

As facemasks should be replaced every 4 hours, we strongly advise you travel with an adequate supply for your party.

Please do not travel if you have symptoms of Covid-19.

We are working hard to provide as much up to date information as possible, to enable you to enjoy your holiday, whilst remaining safe.

Where we are made aware of any changes which we believe might have a significant impact on your holiday, we will endeavour to let you know.  However, changes may be implemented at any time and at short notice. We ask for your understanding if we have not been able to inform you of any change before your departure.  


The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union 


Below we have summarised answers to some of the more frequently asked questions raised by the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. We also suggest that you stay up-to-date by visiting Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA) website here.

Travel after 31 January 2020

Following ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK departed the EU on 31 January 2020. We are now in a transition period (also known as the ‘implementation period’) lasting until at least 31 December 2020. During this time, everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel without any changes.

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU?

No. UK travellers do not require a visa to travel to the EU.

Can I still fly to Europe after the UK’s departure from the EU?

Yes. Everything will stay the same until at least 31 December 2020 and flights will continue as normal.

Will ferries and cruise ships still sail?

Ferry services and cruises will still sail as in any case the majority of the rules under which they operate are not based on EU rules, but are international.

Will trains from the UK to the EU still operate?

Trains from the UK to the EU will continue to operate as usual.

Passport renewals

Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip.

European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.

When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.

Driving licences

As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This has not changed following 31 January 2020. An International Driving Permit will not be required, and you do not need a GB sticker or a Green Card for car insurance.

Will I have free mobile data roaming in the EU after Brexit?

Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK and this will continue after 31 January 2020.

More information please visit ABTA’s website here.


Useful Links

API (Advanced Passenger Information)

ABTA - The Travel Association

ABTA - Balcony Safe Campaign
Balcony Safe Campaign

ABTA - Swim Safe
Swim Safe

ABTA - Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun

ABTA - Holidays in the Snow

Holiday in the Snow

AITO - Association of Independent Tour Operators

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Travel Health Advice

UK Passport Service

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018

CAA - Civil Aviation Authority

Data Protection Information

For customers in Ireland, see www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice  for destination advice and, for vaccinations and health advice, visit www.hse.ie/portal/eng/health/az/T/Travel-health or check with your GP surgery or travel clinic.


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We are 100% financially secure and holidays including flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority, while other arrangements which do not include air travel are protected by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Travel and Health advice

Before you go, you should seek up to date advice from the UK FCDO www.gov.uk about travel to, and within, your chosen destination, noting the importance of regularly checking for the latest information. Additionally, with regards to vaccinations and health requirements, you should check with your GP surgery or www.travelhealthpro.org.uk for specific advice.

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