Scottish flights to Portugal to resume in July if 'air bridge' agreed

Ryanair plans to resume four Portuguese routes from Scotland.Ryanair plans to resume four Portuguese routes from Scotland.
Ryanair plans to resume four Portuguese routes from Scotland.
Airlines are poised to re-start at least ten air routes from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Prestwick.

It follows the Portuguese foreign minister confirming his country was in discussions with the UK about "air bridges" so tourists could avoid being quarantined.

That would mean such travellers would not have to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to the UK unlike other arrivals.

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The quarantine measure will be introduced next Monday in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Easyjet's Scottish routes include to Faro and Lisbon. Picture: Ben Queenborough.Easyjet's Scottish routes include to Faro and Lisbon. Picture: Ben Queenborough.
Easyjet's Scottish routes include to Faro and Lisbon. Picture: Ben Queenborough.

There will be a £1,000 penalty for anyone breaching it, which could be followed by prosecution and an unlimited fine.

But there is widespread concern the measure will cause further damage to UK travel and tourism businesses, which have been badly hit by the pandemic.

Portugal’s Augusto Santos Silva told the BBC: "Our diplomats will work together in order to guarantee that British tourists coming to Portugal would not be subjected on their return to any kind of quarantine."

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Ryanair, Jet2 and Easyjet are among airlines hoping to restart flights between Scotland and Portugal.

Ryanair plans to resume flights from Edinburgh to Faro on 1 July and to Lisbon and Porto on 4 July.

It has also scheduled flights from Prestwick to Faro from 4 July.

Easyjet’s website shows flights from Edinburgh to Lisbon from 18 June, but they are listed as sold out until 16 July.

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Its Glasgow-Faro flights are listed as due to operate from 26 June, but are shown as sold out until August.

Jet2 plans to resume Edinburgh and Glasgow flights to Faro in July and Madeira in August.

The UK Government has confirmed it is considering air bridges with other countries, which would create specific exemptions from the quarantine rules.

Easyjet, Scotland’s biggest airline, said a “risk-based approach” should be be taken and it backed air bridges to countries with very few new Covid-19 cases, such as Greece.

It also called for “clear criteria” for air bridges to be published “so new ones can be put in place as soon as possible.

The airline added: “Where the science allows, governments should look at the possibility of introducing ‘Covid passports’, identifying passengers who have been infected and are therefore immune.

“Rapid testing prior to departure or on arrival may help to make this possible.”

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