Portugal ditches requirement for fully jabbed Britons to have Covid test

Portugal has dropped its requirement for fully jabbed Britons to take a Covid-19 test before they are allowed into the country.

It means that Portugal has become the last main European country to drop all restrictions alongside Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

Removal of the tests – introduced 21 weeks ago after the UK placed Portugal on its amber list – is seen as critical in the race to draw UK winter holidaymakers, adding more than £100 to a trip for a family of four.

The Foreign Office updated its advice that 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”.

Portugal was for a short time the only major European holiday destination on the UK’s “green list” – from which quarantine was not required – when the UK reopened international travel on May 17.

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.

Tourism accounts for 20pc of the economy in Greece and Portugal

Confusing information

The demand was later downgraded to a cheaper and faster lateral flow test. But, because of 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.

Jet2 has warned 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 said.

Unvaccinated adults and children aged 12 or over must continue to take a lateral flow test within 48 hours of arrival in mainland Portugal. Portugal’s holiday islands – Madeira and the Azores – have not demanded tests before arrival.

The move came as 47 countries were removed from the Government’s red list in one of the biggest reopenings of foreign travel since the start of the pandemic.

Only seven countries (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Haiti, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic) remain on the list, which requires travellers to be quarantined in a hotel on their return to the UK at a cost of £2,285 per person.

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