According to the Hotel Association of Portugal (AHP), they are “satisfied with the Government's decision to open up the possibility of non-essential travel for the United States and Brazil and the removal of the obligation for quarantine for citizens from the UK and USA for those who are unvaccinated”. However the association states that they are “still awaiting the decision on vaccination certificates from outside the European Union. Those who do not have this certificate will have to present a test on arrival”.
The AHP had already criticised the Portuguese Government's “inertia” regarding the lack of decision on some important source markets for national tourism, such as the USA and Brazil.
However, Raul Martins, president of AHP, said that these measures: “are halfway there. It is important that there is an urgent decision on vaccination certificates from outside the EU now. When choosing a destination, this factor weighs heavily on travellers, as we know.”
The head of the Association also states that: "this decision to keep the door open to non-essential travel from the US and not be bound by reciprocity and extending it to Brazil and unvaccinated UK citizens, removing the quarantine, is excellent news and fundamental for tourism and hospitality. But Portugal continues to lose competitive advantage over other European destinations, as we only accept vaccines authorised by the EMA, unlike 15 European countries, such as Germany or Spain, which accept other vaccination certificates, such as the one from AstraZeneca/ Covishield, which was administered to millions of British citizens. Only the acceptance of vaccination certificates with a more universal character will allow the normalisation of travel and tourism.”
Since July, the AHP has been asking the Government to open the borders of Portugal to markets outside the EU and accept the certificates, but the decision process has been “slow and harmful to businesses and the economy”.
According to AHP, tourists from outside the EU are not thinking of resuming their trips to Portugal for now, as even being vaccinated, they are subject to tests upon entry, tests to stay in hotels, visit restaurants and other activities when other destinations have no such restrictions. “A decision on vaccination certificates for countries outside the EU is therefore urgent,” they conclude.