Madeira to allow entry to Brit tourists with Indian version of AstraZeneca vaccine – but mainland Portugal won't

MADEIRA will not ban Brits who have been jabbed with the Indian version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the island has confirmed.

It follows the launch of the EU's digital Covid certificate last week, which only authorises four vaccines – Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

However, millions of AZ vaccines administered in the UK do not qualify for the bloc’s passport scheme because they were manufactured in India. 

Despite this, the Portuguese island, which is on the UK's green list, said those who received other shots, such as those of China's Sinovac or India's Covaxin, could visit the Atlantic islands.

Pedro Ramos, Madeira's health secretary, said all would be accepted "because if millions have been vaccinated with these vaccines (not approved by the EU), their level of protection is similar to others".

This doesn't include mainland Portugal, which is not only on the amber list, but will only allow the four EU accepted vaccines.

The new EU certificate now allows citizens to travel more freely across the bloc if they have been fully vaccinated with one of the four approved shots, received a recent negative test result or have immunity due to recent recovery.

Member states can decide to extend the certificate to European travellers vaccinated with other shots.

Brits who want to check if they have had the Indian-made AZ vaccines are identifiable by the batch numbers – such as 4120Z001 or 4120Z002 – which appear on recipients’ cards after they have been jabbed. 

They also feature on the Covid travel pass on the NHS App which is currently being used as a digital vaccination certificate for foreign travel.

It is hoped that double-jabbed Brits will be able to go on holiday to amber list destination without having to quarantine back in the UK.

Ministers have suggested this may be introduced from August, after sources warned it was "ambitious" to think it will start from the UK's July 19 "Freedom Day".

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Brits will still need to check the entry requirements of where they are heading this summer, with many European holiday hotspots introducing new rules for British travellers.

Destinations such as Malta will not allow kids between the ages of 12-17 if they are not vaccinated, while Portugal will require them to have a negative Covid test.

Both destinations are only allow fully vaccinated Brits in – although Madeira is not.

Spain introduced new rules last week which require Brits to have both jabs or a negative Covid test to enter the country, which includes the green list Balearic Islands.

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