Portugal removes PCR test requirement for British travellers

Jun 14, 2021

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In a move to encourage tourism by lowering the entry cost, Portugal announced on Sunday that it no longer requires a negative PCR test to enter.

The Algarve Tourism board has said that Britons can now enter Portugal with a negative COVID-19 test result from a lateral flow device.

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Aside from being more comfortable, as a lateral flow test does not include the intrusive deeper nasal swab, the test is also a lot cheaper. Lateral flow tests are offered free of charge to all U.K. citizens by the government.

A lateral flow test must be carried out within 24 hours of boarding a flight to Portugal, as opposed to the 72-hour requirement in advance of a flight for PCR tests, which used to be in effect.

Bear in mind that Portugal has been moved to the U.K.’s amber list in the latest round of reviews, after being added to the first list of green countries back in May. Being on the amber list means there is a 10-day quarantine requirement for arriving back into the U.K., along with two mandatory pre-booked tests on days two and eight. The 10-day quarantine period can be reduced to over five days in England with an additional purchased test as part of the Test to Release scheme.

Related: What does the ‘traffic light’ travel announcement mean for my summer holiday?

A tram in Lisbon (Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty)

There is hope that Portugal will be among the countries possibly moved back to the green list in the next review, which will take place on 24 June.

Meanwhile, there are still measures in place to keep tourism safe.

“In the meantime, we continue to implement strict social distancing measures and health and safety operating procedures to keep both tourists and residents safe,” President of Algarve Tourism João Fernandes said.

Featured photo by Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images.

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