Travelers from some countries on their way to Greece or Portugal no longer need to worry about one of the more inconvenient aspects of traveling.
As COVID-19 vaccination rates rise and the rate of hospitalizations decrease, both countries have implemented new travel rules which no longer require travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before departure. However, that stipulation only applies to travelers from certain countries who have a European Union Digital COVID Certificate that documents proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, just over 68 percent of Greece’s population is fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Furthermore, in the past week, there have been 126,857 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Greece. That number is down dramatically from the record high number of new cases in 1 week — 249,121 — which was reported for the week of January 3 through January 9, 2022.
Meanwhile, Portugal is one of the countries with the highest number of vaccinated citizens. Indeed, in Portugal, just under 90 percent of the population is vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins data.
Nonetheless, 304,085 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Portugal in the last week. Although that number has also dropped substantially over the past week, the country’s record high number of new cases in 1 week was reported for the week of January 24 through January 30, 2022, according to the data.
Travel To Greece
Beginning today, February 7, Greece will allow tourists with a European Union Digital COVID Certificate to enter the country without having to provide proof of a negative test for COVID-19.
Greece is heavily reliant on tourism. In preparation for the upcoming tourist season, Greece has gradually begun easing travel restrictions.
“Greece has shown remarkable resilience sending a message of safety to our country’s visitors in the past 2 years,” Vassilis Kikilias, Greece’s tourism minister, recently said, a Greek City Times article reports. “It will do the same this year.”
The Greek Ministry of Tourism explains that travelers now arriving in Greece who have an EU Digital Covid Certificate “are not obliged to show an extra negative COVID test result upon their arrival.”
That means travelers from EU member states, Schengen countries, and 33 non-EU countries which also use the EU Digital Covid Certificate system don’t need proof of a negative COVID-19 test as long as they can provide their EU Digital COVID Certificate, which documents proof of vaccination or proof of recovery from COVID-19.
Tourists from the EU who do not have an EU Digital COVID Certificate must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. If a PCT test was taken, it must have been within 72 hours before the scheduled arrival in Greece. If a rapid antigen test was taken, it must have been performed up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival.
It’s important to note that travelers to Greece from all other countries, including the U.S., must provide proof of a negative PCR test performed up to 72 hours before the scheduled arrival in Greece or a negative rapid antigen test performed up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival. That requirement is in place regardless of travelers’ vaccination status or proof of recovery.
You can find the full details about traveling to Greece here.
Travel To Portugal
The government of Portugal has taken the same steps as their counterparts in Greece.
Simply put, to skip the pre-travel testing requirement, Portugal’s Department of Foreign Affairs explains that all passengers arriving into Portugal must present one of the following: either an EU Digital COVID Certificate, or equivalent, with valid proof of full vaccination; or an EU Digital COVID Certificate, or equivalent, with valid proof of recovery from COVID-19.
All other travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. PCT tests must have been performed within 72 hours of departure for Portugal and rapid antigen tests must have been performed within 24 hours of departure for Portugal.
Finally, since the U.S. is not on Portugal’s list of countries operating under reciprocal conditions, tourists from the U.S. will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status.
You can find the full details for traveling to Portugal here.
Know Before You Go
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19” alert for Greece, bluntly stating: “Avoid travel to Greece.” The CDC has issued the same COVID-19 alert for Portugal, again stating “Avoid travel to Portugal.”
Based on the CDC’s guidance, the U.S. State Department likewise issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” alert for Greece, along with a “Do not travel to Greece due to COVID-19” warning. The State Department has issued the same notice and warning for Portugal.
Travel requirements are rapidly changing for countries around the world. For the latest updates, be sure to read all of our Travel News coverage: