Seeing vaccinated travelers allowed to enter destinations once more is becoming quite the regular occurrence, with dozens of countries now letting the inoculated across their borders in time for summer. What is less common, is seeing reduced restrictions for those who have yet to be vaccinated, for one reason or another.
However, in the last few days, two of Europe’s hottest travel destinations – Portugal and France – have changed some of their travel restrictions, and are now allowing unvaccinated travelers to enter for non-essential reasons, like leisure travel and tourism. Here’s everything you need to know about the changes France and Portugal have made to their entry requirements.
Portugal Allowing Unvaccinated Travelers – What You Should Know
Despite a few recent scares that saw daily cases breach the 1,000 mark, Portugal’s Covid-19 situation is well and truly under control, a far cry from the second wave the country suffered at the turn of the year. On top of this, around 2.3 million Portuguese citizens have been vaccinated against Covid-19 – almost a quarter of their 10,000,000 population. As a result, the country is in a strong position to kickstart its tourist industry – and they have their eyes on American travelers.
Portugal has recently become one of the most recent countries to allow American travelers to enter for non-essential purposes, such as for vacations – with both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers eligible. In order to be able to visit mainland Portugal, American travelers must submit a negative SARSCoV-2 lab result of a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), the most popular example a PCR test, performed in the last 72 hours or a rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 24 hours of boarding.
For those heading to the Azores, the rules are slightly different. In addition to completing a health questionnaire at least 72 hours prior to disembarking, they must either provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours prior to departure, proof of recovery from the virus or, alternatively, they must test upon arrival and remain in isolation until the results are known. In addition, those staying longer than 7 days must test again on the 6th day. Similarly, those traveling to Madeira must complete a health questionnaire between 48 and 12 hours prior to disembarking, and they must also provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours prior to departure or proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus.
Portugal still has strict rules regarding mask-wearing rules. Masks must be worn in public spaces and when social distancing is not possible. Whilst travelers may go mask free on the beach, they must still wear a mask when walking on the sand. Cafes and restaurants are limited to groups of 6 inside and 10 outside, and must close at 1AM. Cinemas, museums and theatres are permitted to open, but must operate with reduced capacities.
US On France’s Green List – What This Means For Travelers
The US – along with northern neighbour Canada – were placed on France’s green list on Thursday, which will make traveling from the two countries to France much easier for travelers. Not only will travelers now be able to enter for non-essential reasons, such as tourism, they will also be able to do so without having to quarantine upon arrival.
Those who have been vaccinated will only need to provide proof of vaccination, whilst unvaccinated travelers can now enter, but will need to provide a negative PCR or antigen test taken less than 72 hours before boarding the plane. The news comes at a good time, as France has recently announced that their mandatory outdoor mask-wearing and curfew policies are set to come to an end on Sunday, June 20th.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories