Portugal imposes 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated British travellers, but children are exempt

Jul 1, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.


Portugal has slightly relaxed their tough new entry rules for unvaccinated British travellers.

Previously, from Monday 28 June, anyone arriving in Portugal from the U.K. who cannot show full vaccination status has had to quarantine for 14 days.

Fully vaccinated means travellers must have received their second jab at least 14 days before arriving in the country. As the United Kingdom has not yet fully vaccinated those aged under 18 years of age, this restriction was likely to end family holiday plans to Portugal until at least 11 July, when the new rule will be reviewed.

However, Portugal has now clarified that this quarantine rule only applies for those aged 18 and over, meaning that fully vaccinated parents with unvaccinated children 17 or younger would not be required to quarantine. This should solve the family problem of many British parents being fully vaccinated but their children not being vaccinated.

Children aged 12 years old or over must still present a negative P.C.R. test on arrival regardless of their parents or guardian’s vaccination status.

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The new restrictions follow Portugal’s unexpected move from green to amber in the U.K. government’s traffic light system earlier this month. While the green list received a very welcome expansion recently, Portugal remains on the amber list, requiring a 10-day quarantine on return to the U.K.

Related: Portugal removes PCR test requirement for British travellers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is encouraging fellow European Union countries such as Portugal to tighten restrictions on British travellers due to increasing cases of the Delta variant. Germany has already banned British travellers unless they are returning German citizens, residents or have humanitarian reasons to visit. Anyone allowed entry to Germany from the United Kingdom must undertake a strict 14-day quarantine period.

Portugal currently holds the rotating presidency of the council of the European Union and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has indicated he is keen to follow the decisions of the council, regardless of the economic importance of British travellers in Portugal, even during the peak summer travel period.

Related: 13 of the most beautiful villages in Portugal

Green-list country Malta already requires a 14-day quarantine period for unvaccinated travellers arriving from the U.K. Spain has also tightened entry requirements for British travellers to the Balearic islands, though Spain has added a PCR test requirement rather than the 14-day quarantine period Portugal has chosen.

The Delta variant has also been a key factor in the delay to the final easing of U.K. lockdown restrictions from 21 June until 19 July. Anyone aged 18 or over in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can now book their first jab, with those aged over 40 in England and Scotland now being invited to receive their second jab.

Featured image by Allard Schager / Getty Images

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