The recent relaxation of Covid testing and self-isolation rules for travellers arriving in the UK from abroad has sparked a surge in bookings for foreign travel.
Changes introduced in February mean fully vaccinated arrivals no longer have to take a Covid test on their return to the UK, while those who are not double jabbed do not need to take a day eight test after arrival, or self-isolate.
Testing and isolation requirements are also being eased in some popular tourist spots, although rules are still in place in many countries.
As such, holidaymakers may be required to take a test before travelling to their chosen destination, while some holiday spots still remain off limits to unvaccinated tourists.
If you are planning a trip to Portugal, here’s what you need to know about the country’s entry requirements and the Covid rules you will have to follow once you are there.
What are the entry requirements for Portugal?
UK holidaymakers can travel to mainland Portugal and the regions of Madeira and the Azores for all purposes.
A passenger locator form is no longer required for entry to mainland Portugal, but travellers will need to complete a form for entry to the Azores, Madeira or Porto Santo.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can enter mainland Portugal without needing to test.
To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have had a full course of a vaccine approved by the covid-19/covid-19-vaccines-authorised">European Medicines Agency at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before you arrive, or a full course of a vaccine, plus a booster does at least 14 days before arrival.
Portugal will accept the UK’s NHS Covid Pass (paper or digital format) to demonstrate your vaccination record.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must show show proof of:
- a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours before boarding, or
- a rapid lateral flow test, taken no more than 24 hours before boarding, or
- recent recovery from Covidon departure to mainland Portugal
Tests must be carried out by a trained healthcare professional as self-administered tests will not be accepted.
Travellers who have tested positive for Covid in the past year can enter mainland Portugal with a Covid recovery certificate showing you recovered from coronavirus no less than 11 days and no more than 180 days before you travel. You will not need to take a test.
You can use your UK COVID Pass to demonstrate proof of Covid recovery when checking in for your flight.
There are no requirements for entry to Madeira and Porto Santo. Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a test or show proof of vaccination or recovery to enter mainland Portugal and the Azores.
What about the Azores?
For entry to the Azores, it is a requirement for travellers to take a test on arrival unless:
- you have a valid EU vaccination or recovery certificate, or
- you have taken a PCR or rapid lateral flow test before you travel
Your PCR or rapid lateral flow test must be carried out by a trained healthcare professional as self-administered tests are not acceptable.
The rapid lateral flow test needs to be taken no more than 48 hours before boarding a flight to the Azores, and meets the standards set out in the EU common list of Rapid Antigen Tests. The PCR test should be taken no more than 72 hours before boarding.
EU vaccination certificates must show you have completed your vaccination course at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before arrival in the Azores, and your recovery certificate must show you recovered from Covid no less than 11 days and no more than 180 days before travel.
What Covid rules are in place in Portugal?
Mainland Portugal is in a state of alert and while most restrictions have been lifted, it is still a requirement to wear face masks:
- on entry to medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes
- on public transport
- in taxis and private hires, and
- when travelling by air
This requirement does not apply to children aged nine and under.
Madeira is in a state of contingency and some measures are in force that differ to the mainland. This includes the requirement to:
- wear a face mask in all enclosed spaces and outdoors where it is not possible to maintain a social distance of 1.5m. This measure applies to everyone aged six and over
- show you are fully or partially vaccinated or have recovered from Covid on entry to retirement and nursing homes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, cultural, social, sporting and recreational events
If you are unvaccinated you will have to show a negative antigen test, which must be renewed weekly. This requirement does not apply to children aged four and under, or to those who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated. In this case, you will need to show a formal declaration from your doctor confirming that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
The archipelago of the Azores is in a state of alert and some restrictions still remain. This includes the requirement to:
- use face masks on entry to medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes, on public transport, in taxis and private hires and when travelling by air. This measure applies to everyone aged nine and over
- show a negative Covid test on entry to medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes in the form of a PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours, or a rapid antigen test taken in the previous 48 hours and certified by a healthcare professional. This requirement does not apply to children aged 12 and under or those who have a Covid recovery certificate