Everything you need to know about Portugal holiday refunds

Many British holidaymakers have been left frustrated following the news that Portugal will be moving from the green list to the amber list – meaning that tighter travel restrictions will be put in place.

The traffic light system was reviewed for the first time recently since being put in place on May 17, with no countries moving to the green list.

Many will have booked a holiday to Portugal once it was originally announced to be a part of the green list, but growing concerns that the Nepal variant is in the country has swayed the government’s decision.

Portugal’s move to the amber list comes into force on Tuesday, June 8 at 4am, meaning any returning travellers after that date will have to quarantine at home for 10 days.

If you have booked a trip to Portugal, you may be wondering whether or not you can get a refund on your booking, now that travelling to Portugal requires a period of quarantine upon your return to the UK.

Here is everything you need to know…

Can you get a refund on your holiday to Portugal?

There is no automatic right to a refund when a country is moved from the green to the amber list.

Your best bet is to reach out to your holiday provider, as canceling your holiday outright will likely mean you forfeit any right to a refund.

If the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to your holiday destination, then tour operators must cancel the holiday and refund you within two weeks.

However, there is no FCDO warning for Portugal, meaning you have to rely on the flexible booking policy of your holiday provider.

Most airlines and holiday companies are now allowing passengers to postpone flights to amber countries without additional charges, including Tui and Thomas Cook.

However, you may be required to pay any price difference for the new dates, which can be more expensive due to high demand.

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Tui customers due to travel to Portugal, Madeira, and Funchal up to and including June 17 are being offered a free change to a future date or another destination.

A spokesperson for Tui told Metro.co.uk: ‘we want to offer our customers flexibility and choice this summer, so where borders are open and FCDO advice allows travel, we will operate to those destinations, which include Portugal, Madeira and Porto Santo.’

They explained: ‘We constantly review our holiday programme and cancellations in line with the Government updates every three weeks, with the next update expected on June 24.

‘We know some customers may be unsure about travelling this summer, so we’ve offered free changes 14 days before travel for anyone due to travel before the end of August.’

If you are thinking about booking a holiday to any of the current green list countries, then it is recommended that you cover yourself with insurance.

Lamia Walker, Founder of HouseSitMatch.com, said: ‘Our advice is always to take travel insurance, noting that if flights or transport needs to be cancelled or rescheduled because of Covid restrictions then you get your money back.’

What do I do if I’m already in Portugal?

If you are already in Portugal and want to come home early, contact your holiday provider to hear your options, some may be willing to help change your dates.

Otherwise, you will have to pay for new flights if you want to get home before Tuesday and avoid the need to quarantine.

This may prove costly as many people will be looking to return in the next few days – pushing flight prices up.

Always keep an eye on the FCDO advice for travelling anywhere, and reach out to travel providers should you have any confusion over any confirmed bookings or any holiday you may be considering.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s traffic light lists can differ to England’s, so it’s best to keep an eye on individual government website advice.

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