Portugal hopes to be able to open borders and tourism in early May thanks to certificates of vaccination or tests, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, told the BBC today.
"For the time being, non-essential travel needs to be restricted, but we believe that Portugal will be able to allow unrestricted travel soon, not only for vaccinated people, but also for people who are immune or who test negative," he said.
According to the official, "it will happen soon, in about two months. Maybe in May, beginning of May", she added, guaranteeing that she intends to have "everything ready to allow the British to visit the country".
Rita Marques told the British public station that the Government is "working to reopen Tourism as quickly as possible in a safe way" and showed confidence in the so-called "green pass" to be issued by the countries of the European Union.
European Commission presents proposal for digital free transit
On the 17th, the European Commission is going to present a legislative proposal to create a digital free pass that will make it possible to resume travel at the height of the covid-19 pandemic, proving the vaccination or the recovery of citizens.
The pass may include not only a certificate of vaccination against covid-19, but also test results or immunity information for people who have recovered from the disease.
The United Kingdom remained the main tourist emitter market in 2020, representing 16.3% of overnight stays from non-residents, despite the 78.5% decrease compared to the previous year, said the Portuguese National Statistics Institute.
Currently, travel between Portugal and the United Kingdom is prohibited and there are no direct flights, although nationals or residents of both countries are allowed to travel with a valid justification and have tested the coronavirus with negative results.
The British Government has already said it does not intend to change the rules before 17 May, after evaluating a study with recommendations for safely restoring international travel.
Thus, Portugal joins Cyprus, which announced today that it intends to open its borders next month to the United Kingdom and, from May 1st, accept the entry of British visitors with “vaccination certificates” without the need to do so. tests.
“As of May 1, anyone who arrives from the UK and has been vaccinated will not need to be tested before boarding. If the vaccination certificate is available, we will accept it instead of a test, ”Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios told the BBC.