Portugal to allow non-vaccinated Brits in without quarantine

1 September 2021, 20:22

Unvaccinated Brits will be able to travel to Portugal without isolating - but they will still need to quarantine when they return to the UK
Unvaccinated Brits will be able to travel to Portugal without isolating - but they will still need to quarantine when they return to the UK. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Unvaccinated Britons can visit Portugal without having to quarantine after the country loosened its travel rules in a boost for last-minute summer holidays.

Travellers still need to show a negative PCR or rapid antigen coronavirus test result but will not need to prove they have had the jab upon arrival at the popular holiday destination.

Previously, visitors had to show they had been fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, upon entry to mainland Portugal or they would have to quarantine for 14 days.

Children under 12 do not need to show proof of a negative test and the changes also apply to EU countries and several other nations including Brazil, China, the US and Australia.

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Travel association Abta said the rule relaxation means the holiday destination will become "even more appealing" for Britons.

A spokesperson said: "Portugal is a popular destination with UK holidaymakers - 2.8 million Brits travelled there in 2018.

"It offers beautiful beaches, fantastic cities and lovely countryside, not to mention a vibrant cafe and restaurant culture.

"The relaxation of travel requirements is likely to make it even more appealing for anyone looking to take a late summer break."

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Under mainland Portugal's new rules, lateral flow tests must have been taken within 48 hours of departure while PCR tests must have been completed within 72 hours, and travellers must also complete a passenger locator card before departure.

Travellers to the Portuguese islands of Azores and Madeira must show either a negative PCR test or a vaccine certificate to avoid a two-week quarantine, although they can have a free test on arrival if they agree to go into "prophylactic isolation" - a 12 to 24-hour waiting period for the test result.

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Currently, Portugal is on the England's amber travel list.

It means that fully-vaccinated adults can return to the UK without needing to quarantine.

However, unvaccinated people must isolate for 10 days once they return home.

The Portuguese islands of Madeira and Azores are on the UK green list.

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The Government has come under fire for the complexity of its travel guidance over recent weeks.

Throughout the pandemic the guidance has changed more than 50 times, in what the travel industry called a "constant rollercoaster" of adjustments.

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The green list is the only category of countries where quarantine is not necessary for unvaccinated tourists.

People returning from these countries - which include Austria, Canada and Malta - must take a series of Covid tests but only need to isolate if one of them is positive.