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Portugal

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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.

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Can British travellers go to Portugal?

Portugal’s borders remain open to UK travellers, although they should be aware that UK Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel to Portugal may invalidate their travel insurance. The Portuguese archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores are exempt from that advisory, and there are specific entry procedures for people arriving on those islands.

Travellers returning to the UK from mainland Portugal will have to self-isolate for 14 days. Madeira and the Azores are exempt from this rule.

You can find out more about Portugal’s phased reopening to tourism here. There is no closure or quarantine in Portugal. Amenities are open, in accordance to the guidelines from the National Health Authority, with the exception of nightclubs, which remain closed.

There are no restrictions on mobility within mainland Portugal or at its border crossings, however movement between municipalities in mainland Portugal will be prohibited between 12.00am on October 30 and 6.00am on November 3.

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.

There is also specific information on safety measures in Madeira here, the Algarve here and the Azores here.

What can travellers expect on arrival in Portugal?

Mainland Portugal
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.

Madeira
Passengers flying to Madeira must show a negative Covid-19 test carried out within 72 hours before arrival, or take a test (free of charge) on arrival. You can find more information about entry procedures to Madeira here.

As of August 1, wearing a mask in public at all times is compulsory in Madeira, as per an announcement delivered by the local government.

This measure does not apply to:
– Children up to 10 years old
– People with special needs or disabilities
– People practising 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.

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Azores

The Azores archipelago is currently under a state of emergency, and the arrivals procedures to the islands have temporarily changed.

  • All passengers travelling to the Azores will now have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test either on paper or in digital format that was carried out within 72 hours of departure.
  • The document needs to be issued by a recognised laboratory and must include the passenger and laboratory identification, the date of the test, and must be signed by the person responsible for carrying out the test.
  • Visitors staying in the Azores for longer than six days will be contacted by the local health authority, who will organise a second Covid-19 RT-PCR test to be taken on the seventh day.
  • The regional government health authorities ask those visiting the islands to limit their movements and only travel around where essential, maintain social distancing and wear a face mask in public settings.

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.

How can British travellers fly to Portugal?

Flights are operating from various UK airports to Portugal. For the latest information on flights to Faro, Porto, Lisbon, Funchal, Ponta Delgada and Terceira, click here.

Are Portugal’s cruise ports open?

Passenger boarding and landing at Portuguese ports is not allowed, except for resident passengers. Douro River cruises will also be open British tourists again, as UK government advice against cruising at sea does not extend to river voyages.

What safety measures are in place in Portugal?

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.

Outdoor gatherings
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.

Transport
Everyone must stay two metres apart and wear a face mask on public transport and in any enclosed space such as shops, public services or supermarkets. Public transport is limited to two-thirds capacity, as is car rental unless the driver and passengers are from the same household.

Restaurants
Restaurants are open with a minimum of 1.5 metres between tables, and face masks must be worn while moving around in the restaurant.

Museums
Museums, monuments and cultural spaces have reopened with specific circulation measures and social distancing. Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and showrooms must have marked seats, reduced capacity and face masks are mandatory.

Golf
Each golf course follows the recommended health guidelines as well as specific measures established by the Portuguese Golf Federation.

Accommodation
There are no limits on occupancy, but each hotel or accommodation provider must follow rules on circulation, hygiene and cleaning procedures. Any property with a swimming pool must implement procedures for the prevention and control of infection, ensuring physical distance between users. 

Campsites
Campsites and service areas for motorhomes have a maximum capacity limited to two-thirds of the area.

Beaches
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. Find out more about beach regulations here.

Portugal webinar

To watch our Travel Weekly webinar with Turismo de Portugal, Madeira Promotion Bureau and the Azores Promotion Board, click here.

PICTURES: GoodShoot; Bruno Carlos; Turismo de Portugal

Last updated November 25, 2020