Portugal has tightened its entry restrictions once more over fears of the new virus variant. The country has made several changes – to both its entry restrictions and also to public requirements, such as mask wearing and vaccination requirements – that will be viewed as a step in the wrong direction by many travelers, as the country looks to do whatever it can to protect its people against the spread of the new virus variant.
The news comes as several countries across the continent are making similar changes, with the likes of the UK, Germany and Spain also altering their travel restrictions over the past week. The EU itself has also taken action, with the bloc’s “white list” over safe travel countries shrinking recently. Here’s a look at the changes that Portugal is making, who the changes are set to effect. plus a reminder of which countries are on the EU’s whitelist at present.
Portugal Tightens Restrictions – Information For Travelers
Portugal has one of the most vaccinated societies in the world, with around 87% of its population fully vaccinated and a further 12% having been given a booster shot against the virus. The vaccinations have helped reduce Covid-19 levels in the country, with the country reporting around 3,000 cases a day – way below the country’s high of 13,000. However, much like the Delta variant forced countries to review their Covid-19 playbook, Omicron has forced Portugal to take action.
December 1st saw new restrictions applied to those arriving into the country via air, land and sea, with travelers entering Portugal now needing to show a negative test result upon arrival. Airlines are likely to ask proof of a negative test prior to boarding, with new rules coming into place that would see airlines fined 20,000 euros ($22,416) per passenger if they fly a traveler without a negative test – including those who are fully vaccinated. Tests can be either an RT-PCR test taken 72 hours before travel, or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding.
Once in Portugal, travelers will need to adhere to new public restrictions designed to limit the spread of Covid-19. Wednesday saw the country declare a crisis for the second time this year, which gave the government more powers to make stricter changes. One significant change regards face masks, with the wearing of face masks in enclosed public spaces becoming compulsory once more from last Wednesday, adding to the existing requirement of wearing masks on public transport.
On top of this, travelers will need to show a negative Covid-19 test result in order to be able to take part in a range of activities once in the country, such as attending nightclubs, bars and large events. The use of the EU Digital Certificate vaccine passport will also be required to stay at a hotel, visit a gym or dine indoors in restaurants. Those who wish to dine outdoors are not required to show the certificate.
Portugal isn’t alone in applying several new restrictions. Not only have several European countries also done the same in that past few days, but the EU itself has been busy, adjusting its white list to remove two more countries. Jordan and Namibia were both recently removed from the white list due to fears of the Omicron variant.
The EU white list currently consists of the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kuwait, New Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
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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