This week the Portuguese Council of Ministers has announced that the country will ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference. “This is another step towards a return to normal life.”
The easing of restrictions include:
- Dropping the requirement of a negative test for entering large events.
- Dropping the requirement to present a vaccination or recovery certificate when attending bars, restaurants, and other public venues.
- Dropping the requirement to show a PCR test or vaccination certificate at hotels.
- Working from home will no longer be recommended
The cabinet minister also stated that there are plans to drop all COVID-19 restrictions by mid-March, a stark difference from Portugal’s policy for much of this pandemic. She went on to say “It is not yet the moment to say the pandemic has ended…but this is a very significant moment.”
Before this shift, Portugal has been one of the strictest countries in Europe for restrictions. A vaccine passport was required to do almost everything, and full vaccination plus a negative test was required to attend large events like sports and concerts.
This shift will essentially allow Americans to travel to Portugal again.
Portugal does not currently accept the American CDC white cards as sufficient proof of vaccination. When the country relaxed its entry requirements, it made to point to leave out the US CDC card.
This means that until now, American tourists would have needed a new negative test every few days throughout their whole stay in Portugal. While the entry requirement requiring a negative test is still in place, Americans can now stay in hotels and eat in restaurants without showing proof of a negative test repeatedly.
Portugal is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world with 90% of the population fully vaccinated. Omicron spiked through the nation in the past few months, causing the government to reinstate some of its strictest pandemic restrictions. Finally, we’ll be seeing the come down from these restrictions.
Portugal is a major tourist destination for both American and British tourists. The tourism industry has been rocked by these strict pandemic restrictions, and there is a hunger for a return to normalcy. There are many flights per week to and from Lisbon and Porto, along with some new direct flights to Madeira.
Portugal will be joining many other European nations in dropping entry requirements as we’re seeing a shift in the international approach to COVID.
Vaccinated Americans can now visit:
- United Kingdom
All without a test! More European nations have announced that they will join this group soon.
Now that we’ll be able to travel to Portugal again, let’s talk about what an awesome place it has become for tourists and digital nomads alike. The country offers warm weather all year round, tasty cuisine, and a relatively low cost of living (between $1,000 – $1,500 / month). Portugal ranks in the top 20 countries with the fastest wifi, making it a perfect destination for working online.
Residents of the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can stay without a visa for up to 90 days within 6 months. Portugal also offers some of the most competitive long-term residency visas for Americans. Also with the ability to gain citizenship after 5 years. The D7 Visa and the Golden Visa are programs that any would-be expat Americans should definitely look into!
Check out this article to see the best places to stay in Portugal:
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com