Boris Johnson discusses booster jabs for international travel

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The UK Government has announced booster jabs may soon be needed for some people when travelling abroad. For those with plans to travel to Portugal, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has issued a new update to its travel advice pages.

What is the latest FCDO advice regarding booster vaccines and travel to Portugal?

On November 12, 2021, the FCDO issued new advice for Britons who are eligible to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine.

The news comes as some countries begin to enforce restrictions who have not had a third vaccination.

At the time of writing, anyone who is fully vaccinated with two doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine is permitted to enter Portugal.

Portugal has not yet confirmed whether or not a third vaccine will be required for travel in future.

However, the nation has committed to offering a third jab to certain groups of people within the country.

But, the UK Government is urging people who are over the age of 75 to get a third booster jab.

This applies to Britons hoping to travel and those who currently live overseas.

In its most recent update, the FCDO said: “If you are aged 80 or over and you received the last dose of your COVID-19 vaccine at least 180 days ago, you can have a COVID-19 booster and seasonal flu jab at one of the vaccination or health centres listed on the health authority’s website.

“You do not need to book an appointment. Take your passport or other form of identification, your healthcare user’s number and/or your COVID vaccination card.

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“If you are aged 75 or over, you can book an appointment for a COVID-19 booster and flu jab on the health authority’s website.”

For UK ex-pats living in Portugal, the FCDO advised them to “seek medical advice” from their local health provider.

It added: “Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.”

What are Portugal’s current entry restrictions?

According to the FCDO, Portugal is allowing fully-vaccinated people to enter without quarantine or those who have evidence of a negative coronavirus test.

Passengers can show an NHS COVID pass, an EU digital Covid certificate or a certificate issued by a country that has joined the EU digital Covid certificate system.

Travellers who do not have a vaccine pass must take a COVID-19 pre-departure test before travel.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from all testing rules.

The test can be either an antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure or a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.

The FCDO states Britons should be sure their test results identify the type of test taken, name and date of birth, as well as the date and time a sample was taken.

The travel authority adds: “You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.”

All passengers must also complete a passenger locator form before arrival in Portugal.

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