Champions League crowds converge on Porto

Champions League crowds converge on Porto
Many fans have booked holidays on the Portuguese Algarve, a five-hour drive from Porto

Forty eight hours before the most crucial game in European football kicks off, thousands of Chelsea og Manchester City fans are converging on the Portuguese city of Porto.

The cheapest Ryanair flight from Stansted to Portugal’s second city, flying out on Friday and back on Sunday, is £371 return.

The venue for the Champions League final was moved from Istanbul to Porto after the UK placed Turkey on the “red list” – requiring hotel quarantine for returning travellers.

I motsetning, Portugal is the only major European country on the no-quarantine “green list”.

Only one-third of seats in the 50,000-capacity Dragao stadium will be filled for Saturday evening’s game.

When the switch was first announced, plans were mooted for isolating supporters in “bubbles” – with only day trips to the city permitted.

But with many fans already in the country, the authorities have abandoned that plan.

One British supporter at Porto airport told the TVI television station: “If you want to travel with the club, it’s a day-trip.

“If you don’t want to travel with the club, you can do what you want.”

Many fans have booked holidays on the Portuguese Algarve, a five-hour drive from Porto. There have been reports of scuffles between rival supporters in the resort of Albufeira.

Travellers to Portugal, whether attending the match or not, face onerous conditions. Heading out, they must show evidence of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.

Returning to the UK, they require a Covid test certified in English, French or Spanish, as well as a pre-booked PCR test to be taken within two days of arrival in the UK.

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