Grant Shapps warns travellers to hold off on booking travel tests
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
On October 8, the UK Government updated its travel advice for Portugal stating that double-vaccinated passengers with an NHS COVID-19 pass no longer needed a negative test to travel. However, in a new update today, it has said passengers must check with airlines as some still require tests.
The latest update to the travel advice for Portugal said: “If you have an NHS COVID-19 Pass or an EU digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing you have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before you travel, or an EU COVID-19 recovery certificate showing you have recovered from COVID-19 no less than 11 days and no more than 180 days of when you are due to travel:
“You do not need to have a COVID-19 test to enter Portugal, however some airlines have not yet updated their requirements. Check with your airline before you travel.
“Be prepared to show a digital or paper copy of your COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate when you check-in for your flight, and complete an online passenger locator card.”
Unvaccinated passengers will still need to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter Portugal.
Before the rules were changed, Portugal only accepted the EU vaccination certificate and a few other third country vaccination certificates but not the UK.
Although the rules have changed, the Government states “some airlines have not yet updated their requirements.” Passengers could be denied boarding without a negative test on certain airlines.
Some passengers have expressed their frustration on social media after still being required to take a test despite the rule change.
Phil Cabra Netherton tweeted: “Was just told by BA staff that ‘advice changed literally two hours ago’ and that was why I needed a lateral flow test to board a flight to Lisbon from Heathrow T5.
“I was told that the NHS vaccination certificate was not valid for travel to Portugal and had to do a lateral flow test at the airport.”
Jon Holmes tweeted on October 10: “The advice changed two days ago on the FCO website, but it hasn’t filtered down to the airlines and border control yet.
“Give it a few days I reckon. Today they were still checking your test result before boarding…”
Jackie Mendez tweeted on October 10: “That’s annoying we arrived Friday and ba wouldn’t let us board without test.
“It was v stressful, had to get pcr as we were working and didn’t have time for lateral flow but at least it is sorted now.”
Easyjet has now updated its travel advice to reflect the latest rules.
On its website it states: “Fully vaccinated passengers in possession of an EU Digital COVID-19 certificate, NHS COVID-19 Pass are exempt from presenting a COVID-19 test result.”
However, customers are still anxious about travel as the rapidly changing rules are hard to keep up with.
Neil Hailwood tweeted: “I’ve read it all (Easyjet advice) but for some reason with all the changes, I still feel nervous.”
Ryanair’s website states: “Travel restrictions change regularly, unfortunately our customer service agents cannot help you with queries about specific restrictions in place at your destination, you will need to investigate yourself”.
The airline directs its passengers to the Visit Portugal website for the latest information. It is unknown whether Ryanair ground staff are accepting fully-vaccinated passengers without a COVID-19 test result.
British Airways directs passengers to the UK Government website for the latest advice for travel to Portugal.
Jet2 has updated its travel advice to reflect the new rules and states passengers will need a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test.
The UK Government advises passengers to “check with your airline” of their requirements before travelling to Portugal.
Source: Read Full Article