British holidaymakers no longer have to go into quarantine after traveling to mainland Portugal, despite the country remaining on the UK’s amber list.
The Portuguese government announced on Wednesday that it would drop quarantine requirements for travelers from the UK.
Arrivals will still be required to present a health pass or a negative test for Covid-19, while Brazil has also been added to the list of countries not requiring quarantine.
The new rules came into effect almost three weeks after the UK’s decision to remove Portugal from the green list, leading to thousands of people cutting their holidays short to meet a new quarantine deadline.
Anyone traveling to Portugal from the UK by land, sea or air was told to show they had received their second shot at least 14 days earlier or to self-isolate.
A statement from the Home Office said: “As part of measures to combat the Covid-19 disease pandemic applicable to air traffic, the government has determined that passengers on flights from Brazil and the United Kingdom no longer be subject to a period of prophylactic isolation upon arrival in Portugal.’
The easing of travel rules came as Madeira and the Azores returned to the UK’s green list from August 30, despite mainland Portugal remaining on the orange list.
The Portuguese government announced on Wednesday that it would drop quarantine requirements for travelers from the UK. Pictured: Stock image of the Rainha Beach, Cascais
But for countries not on the list, it remains that only travel that is considered essential for professional, health or family reasons will be allowed to enter Portugal.
The new rules were expected to remain in effect until at least July 11, but have been applied so far.
The change is expected to lead to an increase in the number of British holidaymakers flying to popular British resorts in areas such as the Algarve.
All Britons traveling to mainland Portugal, except children under the age of 12, must provide proof that they have both had their shots or a negative test result for the coronavirus to avoid quarantine – 72 hours before arrival for the ‘Gold Standard’ PCR tests and 48 hours for an antigen test.
Airlines have been warned that they could be fined up to £1,700 per passenger if they let holidaymakers board without proper certificates.
The new measures came into effect at midnight on Wednesday and will remain in effect for at least the next two weeks when the next review is due.
Arrivals will still be required to present a health pass or a negative test for Covid-19, while Brazil has also been added to the list of countries not requiring quarantine. Pictured: Lisbon
The change in quarantine requirements for British holidaymakers arriving in Portugal does not appear to have been updated on the UK tour guide page in line with the Portuguese government’s announcement.
At the beginning of last month, Portugal lifted quarantine requirements for Britons who had been shot with the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine.
At the time, Portugal was one of 13 European countries that reportedly refused to recognize the Indian dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, made by the Serum Institute of India and known as Covishield.
But on August 4, it emerged that the Portuguese government had changed its mind and would recognize all doses of AstraZeneca, as well as the Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac.
The turnaround is said to have come after Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was urged to take action during his visit to Brazil by members of the Portuguese community who will benefit from the decision.
Up to five million Britons received the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine.
On Wednesday, Portugal also confirmed it would allow tourists from Brazil to enter, nearly 18 months after it banned non-essential travel from the Portuguese-speaking South American country to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Although Brazilians, who make up Portugal’s largest foreign community, were allowed entry for reasons such as work, family or health, the lifting of the tourism ban has been a long time coming.
Portugal is now open to tourists from the European Union who present the block’s digital Covid-19 certificate, as well as the United States, from which visitors must show a negative test result on arrival.
Travelers from Brazil no longer have to quarantine but must present a negative Covid test.
The easing of travel rules came as Madeira and the Azores returned to the UK’s green list from August 30, despite mainland Portugal remaining on the orange list. Pictured: Cascais
Brazil has had more than 20.7 million confirmed coronavirus infections and more than 580,000 fatalities from the contagious virus.
Passengers from countries such as Japan, Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada can also travel to Portugal if they test negative.
Visitors from Nepal, India and South Africa must be quarantined for another 14 days on arrival and are only allowed to travel for essential reasons.
Portugal has lifted most restrictions with a three-step plan, supported by a rapid and efficient rollout of vaccinations.
Portugal has fully vaccinated three quarters of the population and vaccine program coordinator Henrique Gouveia e Melo said this figure should rise to 85 percent by the end of September.
With that goal coming ahead of schedule, the government expects to reduce a number of Covid-related restrictions, such as the number of people allowed in restaurants and other public places, including sports arenas.
It comes after Ryanair boss branded Britain’s traffic light system ‘monstrous stupid’ and called for it to be scrapped so the UK can ‘go back to normalcy’.
Michael O’Leary, 63, suggested replacing the scheme with a “simple” policy that would allow unrestricted entry for double-shot passengers from Europe.
The Irish businessman said travelers who received any or none of the vaccine doses would still need to undergo a PCR test.
Currently, arrivals in England from low-risk ‘green’ countries and medium-risk ‘amber’ locations must undergo two Covid tests, even if they are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, all travelers coming from red-listed destinations must be quarantined in a hotel for 10 days and undergo three tests.
The rules came into effect almost three weeks after the UK kicked Portugal off its green list, leading to thousands of people cutting their holidays short. Pictured: Faro, Algarve
The comments come amid the fourth day of chaos queuing at Heathrow Airport, with passengers facing even more massive wait times at the border.
Mr O’Leary said: The independent: ‘The traffic light system must be demolished.
‘You have to have a very simple system: if you have been vaccinated twice, no restrictions. If you haven’t been vaccinated twice, have a PCR test done.’
He added: “This monstrously stupid system, requiring passengers from Europe to be double vaccinated and undergo a PCR test, is not helping to tackle the Covid problem.”
The Ryanair chief then demanded a ‘return to normality’.
A spokesperson for the Department for Transport (DfT) said: ‘Our top priority is protecting public health – decisions about our traffic light system are regularly reviewed and informed by the latest risk assessment from the Joint Biosecurity Center and the wider public health system. factors.
“We recognize the challenging times the travel industry is facing, which is why we have committed around £7 billion in support by September 2021 and continue to work with the industry to help them get through this difficult period.”
It’s because the airline expects annual passenger numbers to reach “nearly 100 million” this year, compared to 149 million before the virus crisis, and surpass pre-pandemic levels next summer.