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I caught the first flight to Lisbon after travel restrictions lifted

This week I marked a very exciting end to travel restrictions, taking the 7.30AM flight out to Lisbon for the Press Association. It was a full flight, though there were very few people travelling with a traditional vacation in mind.

So, why were people so eager to be on that first flight out of the country? The resounding answer was family. While papers have been predicting a mass flooding of tourists back to green-listed beaches, no-one I spoke to that first morning had a sun bed in mind. Instead, sons, daughters, friends and long-distance partners were eagerly anticipating being reunited in a rather sleepy Lisbon after months, or even a year, of separation.


Anya Edwards, aged 20, was off to see her boyfriend for the first time since summer. Despite the early hour, Jill Osborne, 48, simply couldn’t stop smiling at the idea of being reunited with her family after a year living alone. Though perhaps the most heartwarming story, and one the press were quick to jump on, was that of Miguel and Natacha Rodrigues, both nurses at Frimley Park Hospital in Hampshire, who were taking their 7-month-year-old son to meet his grandparents for the first time.


Arriving in Portugal, we were taken straight to our hotel – the H10 Duque de Loulé hotel, where you can book four nights’ B&B from £398pp, including flights (ba.com). Located in Avenida Duque de Loulé, the four star hotel is simple, but beautifully styled with elegant parquet floors and traditional Portuguese tiles. The rooftop bar is definitely the selling point, offering panoramic views across the Lisbon skyline, right out to the sea.


Lisbon itself was stunning as ever - perhaps more so in the absence of crowds. The dusty, terracotta terraces and sleepy side streets felt like something from a film as we wandered Portugal’s capital city, stopping off for a pastel de nata as an excuse to duck out of sun – yes, sun!


Though the tourists are yet to starting flooding in the way predicted by the UK press, I’m sure over the next couple of months we will begin to see a slow trickle of tourists repopulating this gorgeous city. For those who return, it will be a different kind of holiday. Masks are still compulsory indoors and out, and bars and nightlife are off the agenda, with a 10.30pm curfew still in place. But with a beautiful climate and glorious golden beaches, I’m certainly already plotting my return. After all, working from home, means working from anywhere. Right?



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