SchengenVisa Info reports that Portugal has officially reopened its borders last May 17, 2021. From that day onwards, travelers coming from EU member states, non-EU countries in Europe, and former EU member, the UK, can now enter the country without any restrictions. Provided, however, that they show proof of vaccination and a negative test taken at least 72 hours prior. “Non-essential travelers from the UK are allowed to enter Portugal as of the 00:00 of May 17, but must present proof of a negative test for COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time,” said a statement released by Portuguese authorities.
With that said, a handful of European countries are still barred from entering Portugal for non-essential travel. They include Cyprus, Croatia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Euronews also reported that other countries like South Africa and India are part of this list. According to officials, these countries have an incidence rate of around 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks, hence, travel restrictions remain in place for those coming from any of these places. Upon arrival, they have to register with Portugal's Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) before entry. And when they've entered the country, they'll be required to isolate themselves for around two weeks. Moreover, Portugal's borders remain closed for non-EU countries.
With these new updates, Portugal became one of the first countries, both within the EU and the rest of the world, to have reopened its borders with little to no travel restrictions. And for now, the country remains one of very few allowed to do so. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Portugal currently has the lowest 14-day incidence rate in the region. It's only seeing around 49.5 cases per 100,000 population, a stunning feat as other nations struggle to prevent possible surges in their respective countries.
Surprisingly, this comes before the EU has fully implemented its Digital Green Certificates. Introduced back in March, the EU planned to incorporate this new vaccine passport system by June 2021, just in time for the summer holidays. The 'certificates will stand as proof that the traveler has either been vaccinated, tested negative, or has fully recovered from Covid-10. Alongside one's Schengen Visa and valid passport, the Digital Green Certificate will now be a required document to allow a traveler free movement within the EU. But for now, Portugal only required a negative test taken at least 72 hours prior to arrival.