Holiday chaos for thousands of Brits as Portugal extends 'state of calamity' until May 30

THOUSANDS of Brits' holiday plans have been plunged into chaos after Portugal extended its "state of calamity" until May 30.

The country is ploughing ahead with plans to ban holidaymakers until the end of the month – despite being due to open its borders on Sunday.

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Brits are now likely to face travel chaos as Portugal was one of just 12 countries and territories on the government’s “green list”.

Bookings have since exploded – with the country the only major European holiday destination on Boris Johnson's safe list.

There are now fears thousands of Brits showing up at the airport on Monday will be turned away.

The lockdown extension could also wreck plans to hold the Champions League final in Porto on May 29.

Up to 20,000 Man City and Chelsea fans are planning to descend on the country for the all-English final.

The uncertainty hasn't been helped by an EU ban on Brits entering the bloc for non-essential reasons.

But The Sun revealed yesterday how European countries are looking to sign off on a new plan to lift restrictions on UK arrivals from as soon as Wednesday.

Portugal is especially keen to see the travel ban overturned after bookings soared.

According to The Times it will be difficult to reverse the EU ban on non-member states currently recommended, as Lisbon holds the EU presidency.

Portuguese MP Cristovao Norte said a decision should be taken "immediately" over whether British tourists can travel to Portugal from May 17.

He told BBC Breakfast: "We are today going to make an urgent inquiry asking the (Portuguese) government whether or not the English travel can come to Portugal next Monday because we are three days ahead from 17th and no one is sure what is going to happen."

Mr Norte added: "Our vaccination process is going steadily and it is important a decision is taken immediately.

"The message is clear, there are no reasons, nor political or scientific reasons to maintain restrictions for travel from the UK to Portugal."

Asked if the decision could change between now and Monday, he said: "It's possible but I'm not sure what's going to happen.

"Yesterday there was a council of ministers and the minister responsible told the press they didn't have a definitive decision."  

Last week, the UK government announced that holidays abroad could go ahead from May 17, with 12 countries added to the green list.

The green list doesn't require Brits to quarantine when returning to the UK.

Following the announcement, holiday bookings to Portugal soared by as much as 600 per cent, with easyJet, Ryanair and Jet2 adding hundreds of thousands of seats due to demand.

Only four of the countries on the green list are welcoming Brits, with destinations including Australia and New Zealand not opening their borders to tourists.

While Brits won't have to quarantine when returning to the UK from a green destination, a pre-arrival test and a Covid test on day two are still required.

The rest of Europe is on the amber list, which requires a 10-day home quarantine.

TUI has since launched cheap Covid test packages to encourage Brits to go on holiday, which start from just £20.

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It is feared that Spain, Greece and France could be left off the next green list due to the Covid situation in the country.

Brits are still banned from travelling to destinations on the red list, which Turkey and the Maldives were added to last week.

Brittany Ferries announced they could be launching a UK to Portugal ferry route, a first for the ferry company, due to the demand.

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