Portugal drops tests for fully vaccinated British travellers
After 21 weeks in which British visitors to mainland Portugal have been obliged to test before travel, the government in Lisbon has dropped the requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals from the UK.
The Foreign Office advice has been updated with the change to say no test is required for travellers from the UK to Portugal “if you have an NHS Covid Pass … or an EU digital Covid vaccination certificate showing you have been fully vaccinated with an EU-approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before you travel”.
All vaccines administered by the NHS in the UK are approved by the European Union.
Starting with the resumption of international leisure travel on 17 May 2020, Portugal was for a short time the only major European holiday destination on the UK’s “green list” – from which quarantine was not required.
The government in Lisbon initially insisted on a PCR test before departure from the UK to mainland Portugal, typically costing £80-£100, even for fully vaccinated travellers.
The demand was later downgraded to a cheaper and faster lateral flow test. But because of highly confusing information on the Visit Portugal website many British holidaymakers wrongly believed they were exempt from the need to test if they could show proof of vaccination.
As southern European nations compete for autumn and winter arrivals from the UK, that is now the case.
Jet2 warns passengers that proper NHS certification – either online or on paper – is required. “Please note, your business card-sized paper Covid-19 vaccination record card isn’t an acceptable form of vaccine status proof and can’t be used to enter,” the firm warns.
Unvaccinated adults and children aged 12 or over must continue to take a lateral flow test within 48 hours of arrival in mainland Portugal.
The nation’s Atlantic islands – Madeira and the Azores – have not demanded tests before arrival.
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