what are the latest testing requirements for part-time vacation?

Praia da Marinha near the city of Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Praia da Marinha near the city of Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

From city breaks to Lisbon or Porto, beach breaks along the Algarve or road trips along the coast, Portugal is a popular spot for a spring break.

Like many other European destinations, the country has changed its rules in the period between Christmas (and the Omicron wave of Covid-19 across Europe) and the UK’s February part-time holidays.

As of February 4, the Portuguese government has withdrawn extra pre-trip tests for people who can prove they are fully vaccinated.

So what is the situation now: Is Portugal open for holidays, city breaks and family adventures?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Can UK travelers visit Portugal?

Yup. But only those who have had two doses or more of a vaccine can avoid having to take a pre-trip test.

From February 4th, travelers with dual vaccines can enter Portugal only with proof of vaccination, as long as the second dose was administered more than 14 days before the trip.

You must have received your second jab no later than 270 days prior to travel to be considered “fully vaccinated”. If your second dose was more than nine months ago, you must have received a booster injection (or provide a negative test result, see below).

Valid and up-to-date NHS Covid Passes will be accepted at the Portuguese border.

Unvaccinated travelers can also enter Portugal, but they must present a negative result of a Covid test carried out in the last 72 hours (PCR) or 24 hours (lateral flow/rapid antigen).

You can also enter Portugal with proof of recovery: “with a Covid-19 recovery certificate that demonstrates that you have recovered from Covid-19, not less than 11 days and not more than 180 days before travelling”.

The rules are different for the islands of the Azores: you must still present a negative test result (the same deadlines) regardless of your vaccination status. This is for direct entry only – if you travel there from mainland Portugal, you can enter with full and valid proof of vaccination.

Things are even simpler for the island of Madeira: you don’t need to have a test result or proof of vaccination if you are traveling directly there.

All travelers must fill in the respective health form: there are several for mainland Portugal and the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores.

Please note that if you have passed through any of the various countries in Africa – South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe or Mozambique – you will still have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Portugal.

Do children visiting Portugal need tests or proof of vaccination?

Children aged 11 and under are exempt from the requirement of testing and proof of vaccination for Portugal, Madeira and Azores.

Children aged 12 and over must show proof of vaccination (if any), or take a test within the aforementioned deadlines.

What are the rules related to Covid on the ground in Portugal?

Vaccination passports

Tourists need to show proof of full vaccination (NHS Covid Pass accepted) or a recent Covid-19 test result (PCR test within the last 72 hours, rapid antigen within the last 24 hours) to access some locations.

These are:

  • Tourist establishments and local accommodation

  • Restaurants (except on open terraces)

  • cultural shows

  • Events with reserved seats

  • academies

For bars and clubs, you need to have proof of a recent booster jab.

Mask use in Portugal

Face masks are mandatory on all public transport and in taxis and in enclosed public spaces such as museums and restaurants (until seated) but not mandatory outdoors. Social distancing is still in effect in some places with higher capacity or crowded places.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.