Portugal will reopen to British travellers on 17th May, according to Rita Marques, the country’s minister of state for tourism.
Marques said Portugal would reopen to Brits through a combination of vaccination and immunisation certification, as well as testing, on Thursday 18th March 2021 during her appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
When asked if Portugal was looking forward to welcoming British visitors this summer by presenter Martha Kearney, Marques stated the country was hopeful of being able to welcome all British travellers from 17th May 2021. This is the date which the UK government has set as the earliest possible date for the resumption of international leisure travel. This date is subject to change and an ongoing review by the Global Travel Taskforce will report its findings on 12th April 2021.
The remarks by Rita Marques follow the European Commission’s announcement on 17th March 2021 about its plans for a digital green pass which is a formal EU-wide system for certifying travellers’ Covid status. The technology platform is intended to enable people to travel freely within the bloc with a negative Covid-19 pre-travel test, a recent recovery from Covid-19 or proof of vaccination.
“The Commission has adopted a kind of twin proposal to address the digital green certificates in third countries like the UK,” said Marques. “The process needs to be straightforward for British holidaymakers in possession of a valid certificate.
“People need to get in, British holidaymakers need to get in to Europe. It doesn’t make any sense to think about this solution only for Europe. Travelling should be worldwide and for everyone.”
Portugal was officially removed from the UK government’s “red list” on Monday 15th March 2021 after more than two months. The effect of the easing of restrictions came into effect at 4am on Friday 19th March 2021.
Direct flights between the UK and Portugal were banned since 15th January 2021. Since 15th February 2021, any UK citizen or resident returning from a holiday in Portugal was required to quarantine for 10 days in a government designated hotel upon their return to the UK.
“The risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced,” said the DfT in a statement, adding: “Portugal has put steps in place to mitigate the risk from its links with countries where variants have become a concern, and now has genomic surveillance in place.”
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