Portugal scraps quarantine for Brits who had Indian-made Astra Zeneca jab

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Gale beach in Albufeira, Portugal (REUTERS)
Gale beach in Albufeira, Portugal (REUTERS)

Portugal is expected to lift quarantine requirements for Britons who have had an Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine.

As many as five million Britons have been given the Indian dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India and known as Covishield, reports The Mirror.

Portugal was one of 13 European countries who refused to recognise the jab but it is thought the move could lead to increased tourist numbers to destinations such as the Algarve.

It is understood the country’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa reversed the decision during a visit to Brazil, where he met members of the Portuguese community who will also benefit.

The Portuguese government is now expected to accept all AstraZeneca doses, as well as the Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac.

To travel into Portugal via air, land or sea, travellers currently have to prove they have had two doses of a vaccine at least two weeks before, or face self-isolation.

It is on the UK government's amber travel list, meaning passengers also have to isolate for 10 days when they arrive back in Britain.

The Indian-manufactured vaccine is awaiting approval from the European Medicines Agency, which means it does not qualify for the EU’s vaccine passport scheme.

However, most EU states have taken the decision to allow people to enter with the Indian vaccine.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “If the vaccine is good enough to be accepted for use in the UK, we need to see the Government pushing these countries further to accept UK visitors who have had it.”

Of the other countries that do not recognise the jab, only Poland and Romania demand Brits who are not double vaccinated with a recognised jab to quarantine following arrival.

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