Portugal has become the latest European nation to scrap testing requirements for fully vaccinated tourists. Portugal’s decision to remove testing for vaccinated travelers is in line with the European Union’s recommendation to scrap testing for vaccinated travelers, which came into effect this week.
The EU promises: “The EU promises: “A coordinated approach to facilitate safe free movement during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The EU’s guidelines suggest: “Travellers in possession of a valid EU digital Covid certificate should not be subject to additional restrictions to free movement.”
The New Entry Requirements
Travelers can skip pre-departure testing and testing on arrival if they provide proof of vaccination.
Previously, all travelers—regardless of their vaccination status—had to present evidence of a negative antigen test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure. Alternatively, travelers had to present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Portugal has decided this is no longer applicable.
The Portuguese cabinet said: “Those who present the EU Covid Digital Certificate in any of its modalities or other proof of vaccination that has been recognised,”
The Portuguese authorities are yet to decide on the date the new rules will begin; the current restrictions are due to be in place until at least February 9.
The Current COVID-19 Situation In Portugal
Portugal is currently witnessing—largely due to the Omicron variant—record cases of COVID-19. The current 7-day case average is 50,329, with over 50,447 new cases recorded. Portugal, however, has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with around 90% of the population fully vaccinated.
The Current Internal Restrictions In Portugal
Although Portugal is dropping testing for vaccinated tourists, the nation still has various internal restrictions.
- You must keep a social distance of 1.5 meters.
- Use a face mask in public spaces and outdoors where you can’t keep a social distance of 1.5 meters.
- Wash your hands frequently using hand sanitizer.
- Follow any safety measures inside bars and restaurants.
Furthermore, tourist accommodation, hotels, casinos, gyms, and restaurants require travelers and citizens to show full proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. However, restrictions depend on your location in Portugal.
In cafes and restaurants in the Azores, you must wear a face mask inside cafes and restaurants until you sit down. Visit your embassy website to find out more about internal restrictions within Portugal.
So Which Other Nations Have Dropped Restrictions Within Europe?
1. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom will drop testing for vaccinated tourists from February 11. In addition, the United Kingdom has eased restrictions for unvaccinated tourists. They will have to show a negative pre-departure test and take a test on day 2 of arrival in the United Kingdom. However, unvaccinated tourists won’t have to self-isolate on arrival or take a test on day 8.
Sweden scrapped all testing requirements for vaccinated tourists on January 21. As a result, vaccinated tourists can enter without pre-departure or arrival tests. If travelers are unvaccinated, they must take a valid test within 72 hours of departure. Both PCR tests and antigen tests are fine.
Do you fancy some late winter skiing? Switzerland scrapped all testing requirements for vaccinated tourists last month. Unvaccinated travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure.
Other European nations without testing for vaccinated tourists:
- Czech Republic
Europe is starting to drop testing now. Although there’s still a while to go before the summer, summer 2022 looks promising for North Americans looking to visit Europe.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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