Portugal to welcome Brits back from May 17 with vaccine passports or negative Covid tests

PORTUGAL will welcome British holidaymakers from May 17, the planned date for international travel to resume from the UK.

Portugal's Secretary of State for Tourism Rita Marques confirmed that they were working on measures to allow vaccinated travellers or those with immunisation.

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She told the BBC's Today programme: "We are working on it and we hope to welcome all British holidaymakers from May 17.

"Holidaymakers can present to Portuguese authorities a certification that testifies they are vaccinated or have immunisation to the virus of they have a negative Covid test.

"It will be very straightforward process."

It is also worth remembering that holidays abroad have not been given the go-ahead yet – the government will announce this next month with the earliest date from May 17, although some tour operators are only offering trips from July due to fears this date will be pushed back.

The tourism minister made the comments following the EU's proposal for a Digital Green Pass to allow travel to resume.

She continued: "The process needs to be straightforward for British holidaymakers.

"It doesn't make sense to think of a solution only for Europe. Travelling should be worldwide, for everyone."

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"We cannot exclude anyone, including those who have not been vaccinated.

"To restore confidence, we need to develop a means to inform passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures need to be there prior to travel.

"The key message is that passengers need to be informed before they travel, they can book their holidays and they are welcome to that."

Portugal was removed from the UK's "red list" which meant travel was banned to the country and that all Brits returning to Britain had to quarantine at a government-mandated hotel.

It was originally placed onto the red list due to the risk of new variants, in particular the Brazil variant due to its connecting flights to the country.

Last year, Portugal was removed from the UK's quarantine list on August 22, only to be placed back onto it three weeks later.

They aren't the only country keen to get Brits back this summer – Greece and Spain have both confirmed they want UK travellers back from May.

Both countries have supported vaccine passports to allow restriction-free travel although won't ban holidaymakers without the jab.

Cyprus will welcome fully vaccinated tourists from May 1 while Turkey has said Brits won't need vaccine passports to enter.

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