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Published on Friday, August 21, 2020

Jet2 and TUI to restart Algarve programmes next week

Jet2 and TUI are resuming their main Portugal programmes next week, after the UK government added the country to its travel corridor list.

Jet2 will recommence flights and holidays to Faro on the Algarve, from 24 August, while TUI will resume flying on 29 August.

Ryanair has launched a flash sale with flights to Portugal from €19.99 one-way for travel in late August and September.

Within hours of the government's change in advice, Jet2 said it had added thousands of extra seats to its Algarve programme.

Jet2 will operate weekly flights from all nine of its UK bases - Belfast International, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle.

It is already operating to the Portuguese island of Madeira. TUI, by comparison, has cancelled its Madeira programme until 31 October.

Jet2 CEO Steve Heapy said: "We welcome this change in government advice which means that customers can once again look forward to enjoying their well-deserved holidays in the Algarve region.

"Despite the government advice that has been in place, the demand for flights and holidays to Portugal has remained strong, so we are looking forward to resuming our operations to Faro in addition to Madeira." 

TUI said: "We're really pleased the Government has confirmed British travellers will be able to holiday to Portugal without the need to quarantine on their return to the UK.

"In line with the latest advice, we will be resuming flights to Portugal from 29 August.
We look forward to welcoming our customers back very soon."

Algarve Tourism President Joao Fernandes said: "It was a long time coming but we are really delighted with the decision to lift the quarantine requirement. Here in the Algarve the British market is our biggest and we are so pleased that we can finally welcome back all those British visitors that were put off travelling here because of the quarantine rules.

"Our beaches are prepared, our hotels are open, our restaurants, golf courses, hiking/cycling trails and waterparks are ready! Our beautiful region eagerly awaits the British visitor to discover the extraordinary culture and heritage of this part of Portugal.

"We also look forward to hosting prestigious International sporting events, Portugal Masters in September; Formula 1 Grand Prix, the first one in Europe to open to the public in October and MotoGPseason finale in November 2020 at the Autodromo International do Algarve in Portimao.

"And we have very low Covid rates. The Algarve is one of the least affected regions in Portugal. The latest figures show just 0.05% of 100,000 inhabitants, so it's one of the safest places you can be. We were quick to adopt preventive measures and extensive testing at an early stage to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, and as a result we have had much fewer cases than other European countries.

"We have over 3,000 tourism companies that have the 'Clean & Safe' stamp that certifies compliance with strict health protocols in tourism, so I hope British visitors will feel reassured by these procedures and safety measures."

Turismo de Portugal President Luis Araujo said: "Portugal has been welcoming guests from the United Kingdom since the beginning of July, therefore this is not the case of a country just opening its doors after battling the worst of the pandemic, but the case of a destination which has been operating with the capacity for international visitors for some time now following effective early action in the battle against the virus.

"We have tourists in Portugal already who are enjoying themselves safely and responsibly.

"We are so thankful to be able to open our arms, even wider than before, to the people of the United Kingdom. Portugal cannot wait to welcome you."

Meanwhile, Which? said the addition of Portugal to the travel corridor has come too late in the season.

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: "The addition of Portugal is likely to come too late to help many struggling holiday companies who are at the point of collapse, as summer trips have already been cancelled."

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)



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