Portugal will reopen to British holidaymakers from 17 May, the country’s secretary of state for tourism Rita Marques has confirmed.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday morning (18 March), Marques said Portugal would reopen to Brits through a combination of vaccination and immunisation certification, and testing.
Asked by presenter Martha Kearney if Portugal was looking forward to welcoming British tourists this summer, Marques said the country hoped to welcome all British holidaymakers from 17 May.
The date matches the earliest possible date international travel from the UK will resume, subject to an ongoing review by the Global Travel Taskforce – which will report its findings on 12 April.
Marques’s comments come after the European Commission on Wednesday (17 March) set out its plans for its digital green pass, a formal EU-wide system to certify travellers Covid status which would allow them to travel freely within the bloc with certification of their vaccination or a recent recovery from Covid-19, or a negative pre-travel test for Covid-19.
The EU has also confirmed it will work with third countries, such as the UK, to ensure residents from non-EU countries can travel freely to the union.
"It will be a very straightforward and simple process," said Marques. "The [European] Commission has put forward a flexible and simple instrument that will be available both in digital and paper form.
"So British holidaymakers can present to the Portuguese authorities a certificate that advises they are vaccinated or that they have immunisation to the virus or that they have a negative test."
Asked whether Britain’s participation would rely on bilateral arrangements with EU member states, Marques reiterated the scheme would involve third countries.
"The Commission has adopted a kind of twin proposal to address the digital green certificates in third countries like the UK," said Marques. "The process needs to be straightforward for British holidaymakers in possession of a valid certificate.
"People need to get in, British holidaymakers need to get in to Europe. It doesn’t make any sense to think about this solution only for Europe. Travelling should be worldwide and for everyone."