Portugal hols warning as Brits fined up to £680 for providing wrong Covid tests

NEARLY 600 holidaymakers have been fined at Portuguese airports this month, after misunderstanding Covid test rules.

Since December 1, all passengers from high risk countries – including the UK -who are flying into Portugal are required to present proof of a negative Covid test.

That can be either a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of departure, or a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. 

However, many travellers have found their tests are not valid as they were self administered.

PCR tests are professionally done, but antigen tests are often self-administered, and the Portuguese authorities stipulate that it must be a "laboratorial rapid antigen test", meaning it needs to be done professionally.

A PCR test costs around £43 and an antigen costs around £21.50 so, unsurprisingly, a lot of tourists opted for the antigen test, which they then took themselves.

This meant they did not have the correct documentation to enter Portugal.

The English-language newspaper The Portugal News has reported that in the first six days of the new rules, 591 passengers were fined between €300-800 ( £255 – £682).  at Portuguese airports for breaching the test requirement.

Most then had to pay for tests on arrival.

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Twenty-one airlines were also fined for transporting passengers without proof of a negative Covid test, who were not legally allowed to travel.

Families with holidays booked this winter have seen the cost of their trips surge by hundreds in the last few weeks, as countries place various testing requirements on incoming travellers to curb the spread of Omicron.

Someone travelling to Portugal would have to pay for a pre-departure test when travelling to Portugal, and another on return to the UK, as well as a day 2 PCR test after arriving in England.

There was some good news for the travel industry today, as it was announced the travel red list will be scrapped from tomorrow, with all 11 countries being removed.

But testing for all arrivals into Britain will stay until at least January, pushing up the price of Christmas for millions of people hoping to see friends and family.

Here's where you can find the cheapest PCR tests and how you can save hundreds of pounds on your holidays abroad.

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