Travel to Portugal has been thrown into question recently as the government downgraded the previously green-listed country, instead giving it amber-list status. Along with Madeira and the Azores, it was one of a few European destinations open to British visitors after the announcement of the traffic-light system for travel, and the decision to move the country with four days’ notice left thousands of UK tourists uncertain about their next move. But what are the current rules for travelling to Portugal, and will it make it back on the green list this summer? Here’s what we know.
Can I travel to Portugal?
While Portugal remains open to British travellers, the UK government advises against visiting amber-list countries for holidays. However, since Monday 17 May 2021, international travel has not been illegal, so some people with previously booked trips may decide to take them as planned.
Why was Portugal put on the amber list?
The UK government said the move followed increased concern about a mutation of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India. Cases are also slowly rising in the capital Lisbon, albeit at a slower pace than in the UK currently.
Portugal reacted to the unexpected move with surprise. In a statement, its foreign affairs ministry said: ‘We take note of the British decision to remove Portugal from the travel green list, a decision whose logic is unfathomable. Portugal continues to carry out its prudent and gradual deconfinement plan, with clear rules for the safety of those who live here or visit us.’
Will Portugal go back on the green list?
Potentially, yes. The next travel review should be held on 24 June 2021, although many believe the green list will remain small until the threat of variants has diminished and cases in the UK are stable. It’s fair to assume, though, that if Portugal’s Covid case numbers continue to be low and vaccines prove effective against the Delta variant mutation, the country will be back on the green list at some point this summer.
What are the entry requirements for Portugal?
Travellers entering Portugal must take a PCR test within 72 hours before their flight’s departure, and should fill in a passenger locator form with the details of their accommodation during their stay. Masks are required in all public places in Portugal, but UK visitors do not need to quarantine.
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