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Irish holidaymakers rejoice as Portugal scraps more Covid rules from TODAY

IRISH holidaymakers can now remove their face masks indoors in Portugal.

The country’s health minister, Marta Temido, announced the move on Thursday after it was approved at a cabinet meeting.

Carvoeiro Beach, Algarve, Portugal (stock image)

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Carvoeiro Beach, Algarve, Portugal (stock image)Credit: Alamy

The new rules came into effect today – a few hours earlier than originally expected – after they were published in an official state bulletin.

Portugal has also ended the obligation to fill out passenger tracing forms for people traveling to the country.

The easing of face mask rules follows a similar move by neighboring Spain.

Irish tourists there have been able to remove their face coverings in virtually all indoor locations, including shops and hotels, for the first time in almost two years since Wednesday.

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As in Spain, face masks must be worn in hospitals and public transport in Portugal.

Ms Temido said on Thursday: “We are changing the framework because we understand that the circumstances surrounding the pandemic have changed.

“The protection that vaccination and booster shots offer is known to be very high, new medicines for serious diseases are becoming available, we have more knowledge of the disease and we have a favorable international situation.

“The summer months are also traditionally less favorable for the transmission of respiratory viruses.”

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The use of face masks in both countries, where areas like the Costa Blanca in Spain and the Algarve in Portugal are very popular with British and Irish tourists, has been the most visible sign of the coronavirus pandemic.

Their mandatory outdoor use in Spain was only lifted in February, after restrictions were reinstated around Christmas.

Some experts have said they would have preferred face masks to remain mandatory indoors in all public spaces until after the summer.

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There has been a mixed reaction to Spain lifting the mandatory use of face coverings indoors, with most tourists no longer using them in hotels and shops, but many locals continuing to use them in places like supermarkets even though they are not required to.

Both the Portuguese and Spanish governments have reserved the right to tighten the use of face masks if the Covid situation worsens.

https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8689551/irish-holidaymakers-joy-portugal-scraps-covid-rules/ Irish holidaymakers rejoice as Portugal scraps more Covid rules from TODAY

Fry Electronics Team

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