Portugal to welcome back British holidaymakers from May 17 with or without vaccinations
Portugal has announced plans for its “roadmap” out of lockdown. Among the easing measures is the news tourists could be welcomed back from May 17.
British tourists could be among those returning to the country in May if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown for the UK moves forward as planned.
Portugal’s tourism minister has suggested all travellers will be welcome, regardless of whether they have received a COVID-19 vaccination or not.
While speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Tourism, confirmed British holidaymakers will be granted entry if they have evidence of having received their inoculation.
However, they will also be able to show a negative Covid test result, taken within a certain time frame prior to travel, in order to be permitted entry.
The news comes following the decision by the UK Government to remove Portugal from its “red list”.
This means travellers no longer face 10 days of mandatory isolation in a Government-approved hotel.
“We congratulate ourselves on the removal of Portugal from the UK’s red list,” said Luis Araujo, president of the Portuguese National Tourism Board.
“This decision represents a vote of confidence in this new phase the world is going through, in addition to encouraging visits to the destination to stimulate economic activity and comes as a recognition of the road travelled in regards to the effective control of the pandemic.”
In order to assure confidence in tourists, Portugal last year introduced its “clean and safe seal” across tourism businesses including hotels.
All tourist and travel companies that are registered by the National Tourism Authority of Portugal (ANT) are able to request their clean and safe stamp.
The badge guarantees that those tourist companies meet all of the cleaning and hygiene requirements set out by the Portuguese authorities for the prevention of coronavirus.
“It is important to signal that Portugal is committed to welcoming all in a safe and sustainable way,” continued Mr Araujo.
“We are ready to give those who choose to visit us the same great experiences with added safety.
“There are over 22,000 tourism companies with the Clean and Safe Seal and over 85,000 people have been trained in safety, digital and sustainability areas.”
Portugal’s easing of lockdown began from March 15, with nursery and primary schools, libraries, hairdressers and beauticians among businesses welcomed to reopen their doors.
From April 5, more educational facilities will reopen, as well as some retail outlets, museums, and outdoor dining to resume.
The next key date will be April 19, when more businesses and events will be given the green light under certain social distancing conditions.
From May, the nation is expected to have much more freedom with large events, weddings, outdoor sports and restaurants.
In accordance with the UK’s easing of lockdown, the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce will be reinstated next month.
Experts will look at the possibility of reopening travel in a safe way, though this will depend on Covid data across the country.
Many nations are considering the use of vaccine passports, including the EU which has put forward plans for a “digital green pass”.