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Portugal to drop Covid test requirement for arriving passengers

Portugal to drop Covid test requirement for arriving passengers
Restaurant staff checks a digital vaccination certificate at the entrance, on the day that Portugal's government imposed stricter rules in an attempt to bring under control a surge of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Porto, Portugal on July 10, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters file

LISBON - Portugal will drop a requirement to present a negative Covid-19 test for air passengers arriving with a valid digital European Union certificate or recognised proof of vaccination, the government said on Thursday (Feb 3).

The move, approved in a cabinet meeting, is aligned with European Union rules.

In a statement, the government said negative tests will no longer be required for "those who present the EU Covid Digital Certificate in any of its modalities or other proof of vaccination that has been recognised".

It did not say when the decision would take effect, but the rules now in force were meant to last until Feb 9.

The Interior Ministry, which is responsible for the entry of people into the country, could not immediately provide further details, including whether British or American proof of vaccination would be considered valid.

The EU digital certificate is issued to people who have been vaccinated, received a negative test result or have proof of recovery from Covid-19.

In early January, Portugal eased some Covid curbs allowing students to return to schools and nightclubs to reopen but kept the negative test requirement to all passengers entering the country.

Portugal is one of the world's most vaccinated nations, with nearly 90 per cent of its people fully inoculated, and although the infection numbers and incidence are still near record levels, hospitalisations and deaths are well below year-ago peaks.

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