Arrivals into Portugal now only need to show a negative test.
Arrivals into Portugal will see their restrictions eased as travellers from the UK with just a negative Covid-19 test result can now enter freely.
The rule change was announced on Tuesday, August 31, and came into effect on Wednesday, September 1.
Tourist board officials in the UK welcomed the move but did however warn the travel sector that the short notice might cause confusion for travellers.
“Visit Portugal can confirm that British visitors to mainland Portugal now only need to show a negative PCR or antigen/lateral flow test on entry, and don’t need to be fully vaccinated.
“Visitors must show that they took their PCR test up to 72 hours before departing for Portugal, or took an antigen test up to 48 hours before departing.
PCR or antigen test certificates must show the ID or Passport Number for the visitor; the type and name of the test; manufacturer; date, time and place (including country) of collection; test result; issuing authority and authentication number.
“Airlines will only allow passengers to board flights to Portugal once they’ve presented the test proof to check-in staff,” read a statement from the tourist board.
Claudia Miguel, UK director of Visit Portugal, said in a statement to the travel trade that the easing of rules comes as more than 80% of the Portuguese population are now vaccinated.
Miguel also said that the Portuguese island destinations of Madeira and the Azores have different rules so urged the travel trade to check, and said that the short timescale before the implementation of the new rules may cause some initial confusion.
Between January and June, almost 605,000 bed nights were booked by UK visitors to Portugal, including islands such as Madeira. New statistics have shown that the UK was Portugal’s top market for paying visitors in the first six months of 2021.
Spanish came second, with visitors making up 417,000 bed nights. UK visitors spent €371.5 million during the six-month period, with the French spending €443.9 million.
“These statistics prove that Portugal remains one of the most popular European destinations for food and drink, culture and heritage and, of course, winter sun,” said Miguel.
“As the prospect of colder and darker days loom, the news of Portugal changing its entry requirements for Brits couldn’t have come at a better time and is hugely welcomed. No doubt the news will prompt a significant surge of interest from British holidaymakers checking out their options to get away to the country,” said a spokesperson for Expedia.
Expedia also launched the Covid-19 Travel Advisor, an interactive tool powered by Sherpa that helps customers find up-to-date information about travel restrictions in the destination they plan to visit.
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