Portugal: UK 'still waiting on full travel rules' says expert
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Portugal is a hugely popular destination for British travellers. Britons were unable to visit the country last year, but this year they will be able to return restriction-free from next week, according to the latest travel advice. But what coronavirus travel rules and requirements does Portugal have in place for anyone hoping to visit?
International travel has been off the cards for much of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, travel enthusiasts will be able to visit selected countries deemed safer from Monday, May 17.
Holidaymakers travelling to green list countries will not be required to undertake a quarantine period upon their return.
Instead, they will only be required to undertake pre-departure and post-arrival PCR testing, as well as completing the passenger locator form.
These 12 countries are Portugal, Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Iceland, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island.
Announcing the travel list earlier this month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year.
“This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer – with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk.”
Since that time there has been a large increase in the number of Indian Covid variant cases across pockets of the UK.
Many scientists have warned against taking the next step of lockdown easing in the face of these changes, but Government Ministers, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have said there will be no change to the lockdown easing plan on May 17.
The PM said he was “anxious” about the new Indian Covid variant and is “ruling nothing out” with plans to tackle it.
Public Health England (PHE) has recorded 1,313 UK cases of the Indian variant, which is more than double the 520 cases recorded up to May 5.
But Mr Johnson said there was no evidence to suggest England’s planned lockdown easing could not go ahead.
The PM and his chief scientific and medical advisers are scheduled to address the nation in a coronavirus press briefing where he will likely touch on this topic today at 5pm.
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With plans to recommence international travel on track to be permitted once again from Monday, many holidaymakers are seeking out where to visit.
Portugal today revealed it will lift its travel ban and allow British holidaymakers to fly to the country from Monday.
The country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva revealed the news a day after rife speculation suggesting Portugal could maintain its ban on non-essential travel in face of pressure from the EU.
The announcement came despite Portugal extending its “state of public calamity” notice on the mainland for a further 15 days from Monday, May 30.
When travelling, certain rules are in place to protect visitors and residents of Portugal.
Anyone arriving in the country will need to have had a PCR test 72 hours before departure, according to VisitPortugal, the website developed by the country’s National Tourism Authority.
Only those aged under two years of age are not required to present proof of a negative test before boarding their flight.
Work is also underway to ensure there is enough testing capacity in Portugal.
Those travelling to Portugal through the UK, but originally from India, South Africa, Brazil or in any EU member state where the Covid incidence rate is above 500 per 100,000, must isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Anyone travelling for an international sporting event, or who will be in Portugal for less than 48 hours, is not required to undertake the mandatory quarantine period but will be required to show evidence of these conditions upon their return trip.
All passengers travelling to Portugal will be subject to health screening on arrival, including a temperature check and any obvious signs of being unwell.
What is the Covid situation like in Portugal?
Portugal has confirmed 840,929 Covid cases since the pandemic began.
Of those cases, there have been 16,999 deaths and so far 2,989,538 people have been vaccinated.
The country extended its “state of calamity” – the second-highest level of coronavirus alert which is believed to enable the Government to impose local lockdowns or mandatory mask-wearing.
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