Safe travel in summer 2020. Pink face mask, gloves, antiseptic and disinfectant, passport, sunglasses,straw hat on white background. Copy space. Coronavirus vacation protection measures

Last updated 12th May 2022

Read on for information about the situation in Portugal regarding Covid-19 and international travel. I update this article when I hear of significant changes and change the date above accordingly, which allows you to see how current the information is.

Portugal has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Over 91% of the entire 10.3 million population are fully vaccinated.

Everything is currently open and almost all safety measures have been lifted, including the use of masks in indoor public spaces. Now they are only required on public transport and in care homes and medical facilities.

Travel insurance is still vital

I strongly recommend you take out travel insurance to cover you in case any of your party tests positive before or during your trip. Globelink covers UK and EU residents while Yonder is a good place to get quotes for North America. You could also take a look at World Nomads for other countries.
 
There are also a couple of Portuguese insurance companies offering Covid cover for foreigners. See Visit Portugal’s page for details.

Borders, flights and quarantine

Travellers from all countries are allowed to visit Portugal for non-essential reasons.

Rules could change at any time so it’s best to consult the IATA website to see the current status for flying into individual EU countries as a tourist.

Consult the World Health Organisation advice and that of your own governments in terms of whether you should actually be travelling and what the implications of that, e.g. quarantine upon return, might be. 

Even if you have an insurance policy that covers you for Covid, it will likely be void if you travel against government policy.

Quarantine is now only necessary for those who have tested positive. The duration is now 7 to10, depending on your symptoms. More details here.  

Do you need a Covid test for Portugal travel?

Not if you have a valid EU idgital certificate or one issued by a third country under reciprocal conditions, e.g. the UK. 

Everyone else over the age of 12 needs to have a test; this includes visitors arriving from the US and Canada.

It’s mandatory for all passengers aged 12 or above arriving the Azores Islands by air or sea to present a negative test, even for those who have a digital vaccination certificate, regardless of the point of origin of the flight or the passenger’s nationality.

Madeira Islands do not require tests for entry at the time of writing. Get more info about travel to Madeira re Covid-19.

If you are arriving by land, these are the current rules:

  • Citizens travelling from EU countries must hold a COVID EU Digital Certificate, in the form of vaccination, testing or recovery.
  • If you do not have a valid EU Digital Certificate, you must provide a negative test result.

What Covid test do you need for entry to Portugal?

Testing requirements are as follows, for everyone over the age of 12:

RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) less than 72 hours before boarding or Laboratorial Rapid Antigen Test less than 24 hours before boarding.

You need one or the other, not both tests. 

For full details of which test to get and what information the results need to show, see Visit Portugal’s guidelines.

EU Digital Certificate

The EU Digital Covid Certificate is operational in Portugal. If you are legally resident in an EU country and have been fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid or tested negative, you can request this “digital passport” to enable you to travel more freely between member states without the need for tests and quarantine etc., unless the country has to introduce special measures. 

Where to get a PCR test done in Portugal for your return flight

There are private labs and pharmacies all over the country that will do a PCR test for you. You can usually book online although some do walk-ins. Do a Google search for “teste covid 19” and add the name of the town to see what comes up. Mike has used Unilabs, which was pretty efficient and they have clinics in many towns and cities. 

It is also possible to do your departure test at the airport (Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira and Porto Santo) but you need to book it in advance and make sure you’ve got enough time to get the results back. More details here.

If you are a Portugal resident or citizen, you can get up to 4 free PCR tests per annum, I believe. Mention this when booking.

If you don’t need a PCR test, we used a local pharmacy to get rapid antigen tests before we flew to the UK in September and that was much cheaper (€25).

Note that many testing facilities are closed on Sundays so factor that into your planning if you have an early morning flight on a Monday.

Clean & Safe Portugal

The Clean & Safe certification, which identifies establishments that are following the Health Authority guidelines for protective measures, was launched in April 2020 with great success. It has been revamped and relaunched so look for the symbol below. 

You can check in advance which restaurants, golf clubs, hotels etc. have the certificate on the Clean & Safe website.

See this article about checking the safety of your accommodation in Portugal and anywhere else.

How to get up to date information about the situation in Portugal

With new developments still happening frequently, I can’t commit to being the most up to date source of information for you.

The Safe Communities Portugal Facebook page is an excellent source of reliable information in English about the current situation in Portugal so please check their sites for the most recent and detailed information.

Visit Portugal also have additional information, which is regularly updated

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16 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for doing this for us, Brlliant Information all in one place, Julie

  2. Is there any sign of Portugal accepting the UK’s NHS App issued to persons who have been double vaccinated ?

    If one has THAT app, whether on ‘phone or the paper version, is that accepted on arrival at airports and / or in restaurants etc. ? And if not, what then ? UK visitors cannot obtain the EU app. / Certificate.

  3. We live in California and just got our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I was suppose to be on the Camino last April, and am waiting patiently to be able to enter Portugal. I wonder if countries will start taking into consideration those of us who have been fully vaccinated? It could be a good start to opening up world economies.

    1. Author

      Hi Laura, I know that Portugal is keen to be part of the EU’s plans to introduce a vaccine passort to make things easier for people who have been vaccinated. I didn’t include it in the article because it’s still in pilot. Once I know more, I’ll share on this page and in my newsletter. Fingers crossed that you get to do the Camino soon.

  4. JDF: Good info … Portugal certainly has their “patos” in line … as opposed to DJT & cronies. Had to cancel 2 months in Porto … “SIGH”!

    1. Author

      Hi Anthony, Sorry to hear that. I really hope that the situation improves asap where you are, and of course that you will be able to reschedule the Porto trip for another time. Stay safe!

  5. Thanks, Julie, it is encouraging to learn how well Portugal is handling this crisis. I’m am concerned and ashamed about how badly the U.S. is doing. People are reacting irrationally, even sometimes violently, to social distancing and face masks, which are being requested to keep us safe! I live in the state of Ohio, whose population is just a bit higher than Portugal’s, so it is valid to compare the two. Our current number of deaths from Covid-19 is 3,189, compared to Portugal’s 1,697. I wish I was in Portugal, and not here!

    Stay safe,
    Anne Kirby

    1. Author

      Hi Anne, I really do feel for you and your country. It’s shocking to see how badly things are going there and I really hope that things change for the better asap. Hugs and best wishes, Julie

  6. Julie that is great information, thank you. I am from the US and my husband and I were planning to move there this spring and then the pandemic happened. We even bough a car. Now, we cannot travel at all and not sure for how long. We would like to sell our car now and don’t have any any idea how to go about it! Help! Do you have any ideas?
    I would appreciate it!
    Julia

  7. Many thanks Julie for all the informative information.

    My Husband & I have been holidaying in Portugal for the last 7 years & absolutely love the country, the people, the food & wine, the culture & basically everything that is Portuguese. We are still hoping our holiday later this year will go ahead so welcome any information you can give us.

    Many thanks again.

    Paul & Angela Bown

    1. Author

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you Angela 🙂

  8. Always very informative, up to date and helpful. I enjoy your blogs. Many thanks

    1. Author

      Thank you Jane, I do my best 🙂

  9. Many thanks Julie. Cheryl and I have been visiting the Algarve for just over 5 years. We rent a Villa in Ghia and stay for around a month twice a year. Your blog has helped us enjoy many areas of this wonderful country…with so many welcoming people. Keep up the good work…it’s very much appreciated.
    Regards.
    John Scullard and Cheryl Randall…xxx

    1. Author

      Thank you John and Cheryl, that means a lot to me.

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