Bar owners in ‘green list’ nations Malta, Portugal & Israel ready for Brits and pledge ‘we won’t let Covid spoil summer’

BRITS desperate for sun will be welcomed back with open arms by Euro holiday havens as leaders say “we won’t let Covid spoil our summer”.

Pubs and bars in countries like Portugal, Malta, and Israel “can’t wait” for our holidaymakers to fly in and paint the town red.

Getty

Portugal, Malta, and Israel are rumoured to be among the nations making it onto Friday’s green list[/caption]

The team at Fat Cat’s Bar in Albufeira are “excited” to see tourists this year

Brits will be able to visit countries who make the highly-anticipated “green” list without the need to quarantine upon return – a move expected to resurrect the tourism sector and inject some much-needed revenue.

Holiday hotspot Portugal is pinned to go green on Friday, but a No10 insider said it will still happen “soonish” even if it misses out this week.

Pubs and clubs have dubbed the prospective traffic light system “the light at the end of the tunnel” of a hellish year and have already begun prepping for Brits to grace their boozers once more.

Ruben Pinheiro, owner of Pipers Bar in Faro, is eager for a summer of fun – and “has no doubt that there will be a holiday boom” this year.

“I think Portugal is longing to make that happen – I can’t wait for a full house of people singing along, and mixing together again.

“I look forward to feeling that atmosphere once more.”

Getty

Establishments have already started prepping for the return of holidaymakers[/caption]

Bars are keen to get punters packed in after a hellish year

In Albufeira, the idyllic coastal city in the Algarve, Gary Search has been prepping his Fat Cat’s Bar for a re-opening that lives up to its name.

“We are very excited to see any tourists,” the 54-year-old explained. “What we miss the most is the buzz. We are usually such a busy bar, so it has been truly heartbreaking to see it quiet for so long.

“The rest of the year, we hope, will slowly get back to normal. It feels different now we have the vaccine. There seems more control,” he told the Sun Online.

But the expat of 17-years is up for any challenge this year may bring after “spending every last penny” on purchasing his beloved bar in 2008.

The father-of-three continued: “We worked 17 hour days and nearly killed ourselves….so I’ll be buggered if a small thing like a pandemic is going to spoil all that!”

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued advice explaining Portugal’s Covid risk is not “unacceptably high” and is not advising against non-essential travel there – another huge hint it has made the government’s green list.

Nikki Gelder, 42, can’t wait to welcome Brits she has “sadly missed” back to the Wander Inn
Fat Cat’s staff are Covid ready and can’t wait for the “buzz” to return to their bar

It’s music to the ears of the Wander Inn’s owner, Nikki Gelder, 42, situated just a stone’s throw from Fat Cat’s, who has “sadly missed” holidaymakers over the last year.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting and greeting holidaymakers who we have very sadly missed,” she said.

“I hope that we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and that the Algarve is returning to how it was before the pandemic.

“But I am very optimistic for the future and am hoping that we will get a boom in tourists again! I have missed the comings and goings of Brits who bring a brilliant atmosphere.”

According to the latest figures Portugal has vaccinated 3,389,345 people – of which 886,295 have received both jabs.

Kevin and Judith Sherry, owners of Sherry’s Bar in Albufeira, said the vaccine program, coupled with the UK’s leading rollout, has left them “very optimistic” about a successful summer.

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Malta has the one of the best vaccination rate in Europe, with 50% of adults having received a jab[/caption]

“We are very optimistic because we have a great vaccination program locally that’s really taking off now, hopefully catching up to the UK’s.

“The Algarve is definitely open for business this year, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back through our doors.”

If the prospect of jetting off wasn’t enticing enough already for some – Malta’s tourism authority has pledged to PAY tourists up to €100 (£87) when they book to stay at a hotel for at least three nights from June.

The sun-soaked nation is ready for “better times” this year, after authorities pledged to welcome fully vaccinated UK travellers from June 1.

Tolene Van Der Merwe, Director UK & Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority, told the Sun Online: “Malta is gearing up for summer and to welcoming back British travellers, and we are very much looking forward to hearing more from the UK Government with regards to the Green List announcement.”

Boasting one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe – with 50% of the adult population now having receieved a jab – Malta is keen for tourists to get back “to enjoy the sunshine, culture, food and warm spirit.”

Owner of 1920’s style bar The Thirsty Barber, Matthew, 40, has found it “incredibly tough” not being able to open over the last year.

Sara and Alex, owners of YARD 32, said the return of holidaymakers is like reopening for the first time again
Max Fainberg, 36, and his team at the Margoza Bar in Israel are eagerly awaiting the return of Brits

“One of the best parts of owning a bar is being able to be part of guests happy moments, whether it is a birthday, a group of friends meeting up for the first time in a while or guests enjoying a much needed night out whilst on holiday – we love being able to contribute to those memories.

“But knowing we are getting closer and closer to this and being able to welcome our guests back is a fantastic feeling.”

It seems Brit’s merrymaking has been missed in the roasting vacation destination, as Jason Tanti, 47, explained as he excitedly gears up for a “better summer” at his Incognito Bar.

“I miss having that lively music the dancing and also the karaoke nights!

“The vaccine is starting to bring things back to normal, so the rest of the year should see us having much better times ahead.”

Malta currently sits on the UK’s “amber list” – requiring travellers to quarantine at home for 10 days on arrival and take three tests – one before arrival and two after, but it looks like Brits will get the green light for a simpler trip this week.

Owners of YARD 32, Sara and Alex, said they are most looking forward to interacting with their guests again – and hearing the “very interesting stories they have to share.”

Gearing up for their reopening, they explained: “It is a bit like starting all over and opening for the first time again. There is definitely a lot of adrenaline running around!”

Getty

Brits are desperate to return to their favourite holiday destinations[/caption]

The pending summer of fun is set to see the drinks flowing

With thousands of Brits vying for a seat on a plane, Friday’s announcement is expected to bring a “holiday boom”.

Tourists are tipped to be allowed to travel to Israel – after their world-leading vaccine rollout and low numbers of Covid cases.

Max Fainberg, 36, owner of the Margoza Bar in Tel Aviv, Israel is counting down the days until “tourists will be back to party with us”, ahead of the announcement.

Between returning to their happy hours and late night DJ sets, Max can’t wait to “host our customers and make them feel at home again”, and said he remains “optimistic” for a prosperous year ahead.


Holiday islands in Spain and Greece have been expected to be kept off the UK’s “green” travel list later this week – despite reporting fewer Covid cases than the mainland.

But mainland Greece and Spain, along with France and the US, are expected to be on the green list by June in a summer holiday “big bang”.

And airlines are “ready and waiting” to fly Brits off to their favourite destinations after a year of travel turmoil.

Getty

Friday’s announcement is expected to bring a “holiday boom”[/caption]