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Greece and Portugal ditch testing rules in boost for British holidays | Travel News | Travel

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Vaccinated tourists travelling to Portugal will no longer need to provide a negative test result to enter. Unvaccinated passengers will still need to provide a negative test.

British tourists will need to be fully vaccinated and to have had a booster jab if their second vaccine was more than 270 days ago.

Tourism officials in the popular Algarve region of Portugal have said they have already seen a rise in visitors.

Hélder Martins, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) said: “For our part, we see it as very positive and it is one of several measures that will have to appear.

“It is a sign, first, that the pandemic is losing ground and that we are able to resume our freedoms, and, on the other hand, for a tourist destination like the Algarve, it is extremely important that tourists have the fewest possible barriers for entry into the destination.”

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He added: “Here at the airport (Faro) you are starting to see many golf bags arriving among tourists, of the 23 flights that arrived today, most are from the United Kingdom.

“It is important that it runs normally, because golf is a very important product to combat seasonality.”

The Portuguese Algarve is one of the world’s top golfing destinations and is extremely popular all year round.

Elsewhere, Greece has also announced that fully vaccinated tourists no longer need a negative test to enter.

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The FCO travel advice for Greece states: “From Monday February 7 2022, travellers able to demonstrate full vaccination status will be exempt from the requirement to take any pre-departure test in order to travel to Greece.”

Like many EU countries, Greece will accept fully vaccinated passengers without a test but passengers who had their second jab over 270 days ago will need to have a booster.

Tourism officials in Greece previously announced the country was aiming to become a winter tourism destination to extend the season.

Many of the Greek islands are extremely popular with British tourists and Crete was recently voted one of the world’s most beautiful beach destinations.

Lanzarote, in the Spanish Canary Islands, has recently called for Spain to relax travel restrictions for Britons.

Currently unvaccinated British tourists are banned from travelling to Spain. Some officials in Lanzarote have called for unvaccinated tourists to be allowed in with a test.

They said the tough rules would put British tourists off travelling to Spain and encourage them to visit destinations such as Greece instead.

The vaccination rule has ruined many family holidays as many British teenagers had not had the chance to get a vaccine.

Until February 11, British tourists will need to take a lateral flow test on or before day two after arrival in the UK.

After that, vaccinated Britons will no longer need to pay for tests after entering the UK.

Travel tests can be very expensive and often add hundreds of pounds to the price of a family holiday.

British tourists should check the UK Government website for the latest restrictions as rules can change rapidly.

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