Portugal is the perfect holiday destination year-round, with its mild climate, 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and more than 500 miles of splendid beaches, plus superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people.
Can British travellers go to Portugal?
Portugal has been removed from the UK’s green list, and added to the amber list, which means travellers need to self-isolate on their return.
All travellers from amber list countries must book PCR tests to take on day two and day eight after arriving in the UK.
Those arriving into England may qualify for the test to release scheme, which will end the 10-day quarantine period early in the event of a negative test on day five. Travellers will still need to take their last PCR test on day eight. Arrivals from Portugal also need to fill in a passenger locator form,
All arrivals to Portugal must show proof of a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before departure.
Find out more about the situation in Portugal here.
Travellers should observe rules on social distancing and should wear face masks in all enclosed public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing of two metres can’t be maintained.
What can travellers expect on arrival in Portugal?
Passengers travelling to Portugal, including Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores, must provide a certificate confirming a negative PCR test result taken within the previous 72 hours. This will be required at check-in and airlines may deny boarding if passengers cannot provide proof of their test result. Visitors to Madeira no longer need to provide proof of a negative test if they hold a vaccination certificate, or proof of recovery from Covid-19 within 90 days (see below).
All passengers travelling to airports in mainland Portugal (Faro, Lisbon and Porto) will be required to show they have filled in a Passenger Locator Card (PLC) from the Portuguese Health Authority. The digital form is available here.
Passengers will be sent a link to the form by their airline at the time of booking and reminded at various stages before embarking the aircraft. Once they have completed the form online, they will receive an electronic receipt which they will need to show to airline staff at the gate prior to boarding, either as a printed receipt or on a mobile device.
Travellers going to the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores must comply with different entry requirements.
Tourists are now eligible for direct entry to Madeira without the need for testing if they can provide a vaccination certificate or proof of Covid-19 recovery within 90 days.
To be eligible, tourists who fall under these new conditions must prove their status through one of two documents:
1) Document certifying vaccination against Covid-19. The certificate should include the following information: name, date of birth, NHS number, vaccine type and dates of both doses.
2) Proof of Covid-19 recovery in the last 90 days, validated by the respective country of origin and state the name, date of birth, health number, type and date of the test and the explicit mention “recovered”.
Any of the above documents in English must be submitted to the app madeirasafe.com before the trip is made.
If passengers travelling from the UK cannot prove the above requirements, as before, they must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test carried out within 72 hours before arrival, or take a test (free of charge) on arrival, then self-isolate until this can be followed up with another PCR test five to seven days after the initial test. Passengers under the age of 12 are exempt.
You can find more information about entry procedures to Madeira here.
Wearing a mask in public at all times is compulsory in Madeira. This measure does not apply to:
- Children up to 10 years old.
- People with special needs or disabilities.
- People playing sports.
- Beaches, bathing areas and complexes, except for sanitary facilities where the use of a mask is mandatory.
- Physical activity and/or leisure that involves physical effort.
- Recreational and sporting activities in the forest or recommended walking routes.
The wellbeing and protection of citizens and tourists visiting the archipelago of Madeira continues to be the priority.
All passengers travelling to the Azores have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test either on paper or in digital format taken within 72 hours of departure. This measure does not apply to children aged 12 years or younger.
Tourists are also eligible for direct entry to the Azores without a test if they can provide proof of Covid-19 recovery within 90 days, validated by the respective country of origin. This should include the following information: name, date of birth, type and date of the test and the explicit mention that the person has ‘recovered’. The declaration should be signed by the doctor and should also include their professional details.
International travellers arriving to the Azores by air or sea with a negative RT-PCR test can proceed to their accommodation and enjoy their holiday.
International travellers arriving to the Azores by air or sea without an RT-PCR test must take a test on arrival. The test is free and the traveller will have to wait for the result in isolation at their accommodation. The results can take a maximum of 24 hours.
All travellers remaining in the archipelago of the Azores for seven or more nights, and more than 13 nights, will have to be re-tested. On the 6th and 12th days, travellers need to contact the health authority of the municipality where they are staying, in order to carry out a new test.
For smooth entry into the Azores, passengers must fill out the Questionnaire for Risk Assessment and Early Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and submit the result of the test within 72 hours before the start of their trip. The questionnaire can be found here.
Find out more about arrival procedures in the Azores here.
Travelling with Children
All children over the age of 10 must wear a face mask while travelling.
Mainland Portugal: Children under the age of 24 months are not required to show a RT-PCR test
Madeira: Children under the age of 12 are not required to show a RT-PCR test
Azores: Children aged 12 or under are not required to show a RT-PCR test
Are Portugal’s cruise ports open?
Portugal’s cruise ports are open for the embarkation and disembarkation of tourism cruises. The same rules as for air traffic apply. Passengers must show proof of an RT-PCR Covid-19 negative test carried out within 72 hours beforehand.
What safety measures are in place in Portugal?
The Portuguese government has released a four-step roadmap out of some of the restrictions currently in place across Portugal. For more information, click here.
There are widespread safety measures in place in Portugal and Turismo de Portugal has developed a Clean & Safe stamp in line with WTTC measures, for all tourism venues, including hotels, local accommodation, tour operators and restaurants.
The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in service areas or petrol stations and, from 9pm, in shops, including supermarkets.
People must not socialise in groups larger than five. Wearing a face mask is obligatory for everyone over the age of 10 in outdoor public spaces, when social distancing two metres apart can’t be maintained.
The use of face masks is mandatory in any form of public transports and capacity limited to two-thirds.
In taxis or other private car services, the passenger front seat cannot be used and passenger occupancy cannot exceed two-thirds of the remaining space.
For Rent-a-Car, vehicles with a capacity of five seats or less can be fully occupied if they belong to the same household. If the vehicle has more than five seats, its capacity is limited to two-thirds of the total unless they are part of the same household. Cars will be deep cleaned prior to all rentals.
Restaurants are open with a minimum of 1.5 metres between tables, and face masks must be worn while moving around in the restaurant.
In mainland Portugal, restaurants, cafes, and patisseries are allowed to operate until 10.30pm. A maximum of six people are allowed to sit together inside or 10 outdoors. In Madeira, they are open until 10pm, with five people from the same household both indoors and outdoors. For the Azores, please check the measures for each island here.
Museums are open, although they operating under limited capacity and opening times.
A general occupancy limitation has not been determined, but each accommodation provider must define a contingency plan to be applied in the context of Covid-19, with circulation rules in common areas, as well as hygiene and cleaning procedures. Check the requirements for accommodation providers here.
There are rules regarding social distancing and use of beach facilities and equipment. The level of occupancy will be shown using coloured flags at the beach, and travellers should download the Info Praia app, which will show real-time information on water quality and occupancy levels.
Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, and concert halls
These are open with reduced capacity and are allowed to operate until 10.30pm.
Golf courses are in operation. There are specific measures established by the Portuguese Golf Federation, which are available here.
PICTURES: GoodShoot; RCL-RuiCunha; Bruno Carlos; Turismo de Portugal; AP Madeira
Last updated June 4, 2021
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