<p>Lisbon, Portugal </p>

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal drops vaccination demand for UK visitors

The nation no longer distinguishes between arrivals who have been vaccinated against coronavirus and those who have not

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Thursday 02 September 2021 07:21

Unvaccinated British travellers to mainland Portugal will now be able to avoid quarantine.

In a move that goes against the prevailing tide, the nation no longer distinguishes between arrivals who have been vaccinated against coronavirus and those who have not.

According to the latest Visit Portugal announcement, UK visitors must present a negative Covid test result: either a cheap and swift lateral flow taken within 48 hours of departure, or a slower and more expensive PCR test within 72 hours.

Under-12s need not take a test.

Every traveller must have a completed online passenger locator card.

British travellers who fly or take the ferry to Spain and then cross the border by road or rail face no admission restrictions.

The travel industry had been expecting a different move from the Portuguese government: dropping the requirement for vaccinated visitors to undergo a test. Fully jabbed European Union arrivals with the EU Digital Covid pass currently enjoy test-free admission.

While Portugal has modified its original insistence on a PCR test for arrivals from the UK, and allows cheaper and swifter lateral flow tests, it still requires a negative result from all arrivals from the UK aged 12 and over.

Most of Portugal’s rivals for attracting British tourists, including Spain, France and Greece, do not impose such a demand.

Portugal was the only major tourism destination on the UK government’s original “green list,” which took effect on 17 May. But within two weeks it was moved to the “amber list” – which, at the time, required self-isolation. That still applies for unvaccinated arrivals.

Its islands, Madeira and the Azores, have their own requirements – with free tests on arrival, if the traveller is prepared to go into “prophylactic isolation” for between 12 and 24 hours.

Holidaymakers returning to the UK must take a test before departure, and pre-book a PCR test for after their arrival.

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