An "air bridge" between Portugal and the UK could be in place by the end of June.

Anyone wanting to holiday in Portugal this summer would be "most welcome," the country's foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva said.

He confirmed talks on establishing an air corridor linking the two countries were ongoing and he was hopeful that agreement could be secured by the end of June, MirrorOnline reports.


This would also allow British holidaymakers who visit Portugal's resorts to bypass new UK quarantine regulations that they will face on return.

But Mr Santos Silva branded the rules "an enemy of tourism" and said his country would ensure tourists could travel safely.

He insisted Portugal would not impose any type of mandatory quarantine for people visiting. But, he said temperature checks will be carried out at airports and travellers would face random health checks.

There have been 32,895 coronavirus cases in Portugal and 1,436 confirmed deaths.

It comes as the UK is set to impose a controversial 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving in the country from June 8.

The plan will mean anyone arriving in the UK will be forced to isolate for 14 days to prevent coronavirus cases being introduced from overseas or face a fine if they defy regulations.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to set out the controversial scheme to MPs today - amid calls for it to be scrapped.

Tourist industry chiefs have warned that the move will lead to economic disaster and hope that a large number of air bridges will be rolled out on June 29, the first quarantine review date.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the Government is still looking at the prospect of “air bridges” between the UK and other countries, creating specific exemptions from the quarantine rules.

Reports suggest Boris Johnson is in favour of the plan.

EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways are among the airlines which have announced plans to ramp up their operations next month, despite the Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advising against non-essential foreign travel.

Health minister Edward Argar said he hoped people would be able to go on holiday this year.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m not going to say a particular date on when that might happen because we will have to be guided by how the disease behaves, controlling any risk of a second wave and controlling the disease.

“I hope that people will be able to go on holiday at some point this year, but I can’t make that promise and because I have to be cautious and go with the science and I don’t have that forward view yet of how a second wave or otherwise might behave.”