Portugal scraps quarantine rules for Brits who’ve had Indian AstraZeneca vaccine
Portugal is set to lift quarantine requirements for the five million Brits jabbed with the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine.
The move is expected to lead to an increase in the number of UK travellers picking popular holiday spots like the Algarve for their sunshine breaks.
Portugal was one of the 13 European countries said to be refusing to recognise the Indian dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India and known as Covishield.
But overnight it emerged the Portuguese government had changed its mind and would recognise all AstraZeneca doses as well as the Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac.
Up to five million Brits are thought to have received the Indian made AstraZeneca jab.
The U-turn is understood to have occurred after Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was urged to take action on his visit to Brazil by members of the Portuguese community who will benefit from the decision.
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Last month Portugal introduced rules meaning anyone travelling to the mainland by air, land or sea would have to prove they have had two doses of a vaccine at least two weeks ago, or have to isolate.
Portugal is currently on the UK government’s amber travel list, which means passengers also have to isolate for 10 days when they arrive back in Britain.
There are 13 other EU countries which do not recognise the Indian AZ vaccine.
Of those, only Poland and Romania require Brits who are not double vaccinated with a recognised jab to quarantine following arrival, in addition to Portugal.
The Indian vaccine has not been authorised the European Medicines Agency, which means it does not qualify for the EU’s vaccine passport scheme, the Telegraph reports.
EU states are able to make their own decisions on entry however, and most have given the green light to the Indian vaccine.
It is hoped the jab will be official recognised across the EU by September, easing holiday plans for Brits.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “If the vaccine is good enough to be accepted for use in the UK, we need to see the Government pushing these countries further to accept UK visitors who have had it.”
More to follow.
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