The European Union is quickly readying its new digital ‘green certificate’, which will help streamline proof of vaccination, or a negative test, for arrivals into Europe this summer. Even then, not all countries within the EU plan to welcome outside visitors this summer. In a lovely twist, Portugal says it’s getting ready to.
For a while, it was unclear if Portugal planned to welcome outside visitors, such as Americans and others from outside the continent, but now there’s official word that ‘third country’ visitors will be welcome, provided they bring proof of full vaccination.
That’s right, for Portugal this summer, it’s fully vaccinated or bust, if you’re coming from outside the EU!
Portugal’s Summer Travel Plans
Portugal will welcome fully vaccinated visitors from the USA and a selection of countries from outside of the EU, as soon as the week beginning June 14th. Though a specific date was not set, Portuguese Economic Minister, Pedro Siza Vieira, delivered the good news to Portuguese radio, stating…
“We are in a position to approve the opening of non-essential travel and flights to people from the U.S. to Portugal as long as they have a vaccination certificate. I believe that next week we will be able to have this up and running,”Pedro Siza Vieira, Economic Minister, Portugal
For the time being, unlike Spain and Greece, which are currently accepting vaccination or negative covid-19 tests before travel, Portugal will only accept travelers who are fully vaccinated at the time of arrival.
Portugal defines this as receiving the last required dose at least 14 days before arrival, and counts AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) as accepted proof. Until the EU ‘Green Pass’ is up and running, countries are accepting vaccination certificates as proof, even though the paper form isn’t incredibly secure.
Europe hopes the digital ‘green pass’ will help to add a layer of security and trust to vaccination records, as well as streamline arrivals. Tourists will be able to download a QR code on their phone, or print out, which lets authorities know the information has been verified.
A Golden Opportunity
Portugal in the summer usually means a few things, but one constant: crowds. After a bizarre twist, which saw the UK remove Portugal from its “green list”, thus ending any quarantine free travel from Portugal back to the UK, that may not be a thing.
The UK has traditionally been one of Portugal’s largest tourism markets, but with the need to quarantine upon return to the UK, and facing exorbitant testing costs, many Brits have had to cancel.
The misfortune of some, is creating a golden opportunity for other visitors, who will find unprecedented bargains for peak summer travel, from city breaks like Lisbon and Porto, to the villas of the Algarve, as hotels, tours and attractions look to rebound.
There’s never a bad time for pastéis de nata!