Travel ‘shouldn’t be done for non-essential reasons’ says expert
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Portugal has thrown open its doors to some five million British travellers after they were put under different rules from other travellers due to the type of vaccine they received. Certain makes of the AstraZeneca vaccine have not been recognised by some countries, meaning travellers who are required to be fully vaccinated can not travel to countries that have such travel rules in place.
Portugal was one of the 13 European countries said to be refusing to recognise the Indian dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
Wannabe holidaymakers had been turned away from borders due to having this particular batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
While the AstraZeneca vaccine has been rolled out widely across the UK, some recipients found themselves unable to travel out of the UK to some places in Europe as a certain batch, made in India, had not been approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Despite not being approved, the batch is chemically identical to other AstraZeneca vaccines made elsewhere.
Portugal was one of a number of countries who did not officially recognise doses from the batch, made by the Serum Institute of India.
But it has now emerged the Portuguese government has changed its mind and will recognise all AstraZeneca doses as well as the Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac.
Since last month, those who received a dose from the batch were required to quarantine on arrival in Portugal, and others had been denied the opportunity to travel at all.
There are 13 other EU countries which do not recognise the Indian AZ vaccine.
How do I know if I have had this batch? How can I check?
The batch numbers for the Indian manufactured doses, known as Covishield, appear on the Covid Travel Pass in the NHS App.
They are: 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003.
These batch numbers are now under the same rules as all other UK based travellers heading for Portugal.
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What are the travel rules for Portugal?
Portugal is currently on the UK’s amber list for travel, meaning fully vaccinated Britons do not need to quarantine at home or in a hotel when they return.
Mainland Portugal has introduced quarantine for travellers from the UK who are not fully vaccinated.
All travellers, apart from children under 12, must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test to travel to or through mainland Portugal.
Portugal is open for business as well, although there are still restrictions on gatherings and hospitality.
Restaurants and bars are allowed to remain open until 2am, with last orders at 1am.
In total six people are permitted to eat or drink together inside a venue, with 10 people allowed to do the same if seated outside.
Entertainment is not permitted indoors and dance floors are not allowed to open.
Hotels are operating as normal, albeit with sanitisation and social distancing measures in place.
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