“In view of the development of the epidemic situation and the need to facilitate personnel changes, as of March 15, 2023, passengers on direct flights from Portugal to China are authorized to use antigen tests (including self-test), instead of nucleic acid tests,” reads the statement, published in Chinese, on the embassy’s website.

Portugal is one on a list of 32 countries from which it is no longer necessary to present a negative PCR test for the virus when traveling to China.

Last Friday, the Chinese authorities also included Portugal in a second batch of countries to which they will allow group tourism trips.

In early February, Beijing again allowed group tourism to about 20 countries, including destinations such as Thailand or Indonesia. As of March 15th, Chinese tourists traveling in organized groups will be able to visit over 40 countries, including Brazil, France or Spain.

According to data provided to Lusa by Tiago Brito, the permanent representative of Turismo de Portugal in China, more than 385,000 Chinese visited Portugal in 2019, the year before the pandemic. Tourists from China spent a total of 224 million euros in the country, an increase of 20% compared to 2018.