Portugal abolishes vaccination passports for hotels and restaurants

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This week, the Portuguese Council of Ministers announced that the country would relax some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said at a press conference. “It’s one more step towards a return to normal life.”

Lisbon, Portugal

The easing of restrictions includes:

  • Dropping the requirement to test negative to participate in major events.
  • Abolition of the obligation to present a vaccination or recovery certificate when visiting bars, restaurants and other public places.
  • Abolition of the obligation to present a PCR test or a vaccination certificate in hotels.
  • Working from home will no longer be recommended
Lisbon trams

The minister also said there were plans to drop all COVID-19 restrictions by mid-March, a stark departure from Portugal‘s policy during much of this pandemic. She went on to say, “Now is not the time to say the pandemic is over…but it is a very important time.”
Before this change, Portugal was one of the strictest countries in Europe when it came to restrictions. A vaccination passport was needed to do almost everything, and a full vaccination plus a negative test was needed to attend big events like sports and concerts.

Watch the sea from Lisbon

This change will essentially allow Americans to travel to Portugal again.

Portugal does not currently accept US white cards from the CDC as sufficient proof of vaccination. When the country relaxed its entry requirements, it moved to remove the US CDC card.

This means that until now, American tourists would have needed to test negative again every few days throughout their stay in Portugal. While the entry requirement requiring a negative test is still in place, Americans can now stay in hotels and eat in restaurants without repeatedly showing proof of a negative test.

Portugal is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world with 90% of the population fully vaccinated. Omicron has crossed the country over the past few months, forcing the government to reinstate some of its toughest pandemic restrictions. Finally, we will see the drop in these restrictions.

Portugal is a major tourist destination for American and British tourists. The tourism industry has been rocked by these strict pandemic restrictions, and there is a thirst for a return to normal. There are numerous weekly flights to and from Lisbon and Porto, as well as some new direct flights to Madeira.
Portugal will join many other European countries in removing entry requirements as we see a shift in the international approach to COVID.

Porto, Portugal skyline of the old town from across the Douro River.

Vaccinated Americans can now visit:

  • France
  • UK
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

All without testing! Other European nations have announced that they will soon join this group.

EU and USA flag
Pair of American and European flags on the desk against a defocused background. Horizontal composition with copy space and selective focus.

Now that we can travel to Portugal again, let’s talk about what a great place it has become for tourists and digital nomads. The country offers a year-round warm climate, tasty cuisine, and a relatively low cost of living (between $1,000 and $1,500/month). Portugal ranks in the top 20 countries with the fastest wifi, making it an ideal destination for working online.

Residents of the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia can stay visa-free for up to 90 days within a 6 month period. Portugal also offers some of the most competitive long-term residency visas for Americans. Also with the possibility of obtaining citizenship after 5 years. The D7 visa and the Golden Visa are programs that every American expat should definitely consider!

Check out this article to see the best places to stay in Portugal:

The best places in Portugal for digital nomads

Read more:

Travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for 2022

7 European destinations that require booster shots for travelers

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