Last Updated 2nd January 2022
The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only. As set out in the website terms and conditions, whilst I endeavour to keep information up to date and correct, I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
Portugal feels safe compared to the UK; thanks to a high vaccination rate, low case numbers and a common sense and timely approach when rules need to be changed.
Mask wearing is required indoors and on public transport, and is usual practice outdoors where there are crowds. There is also good social distancing.
Tighter precautions were brought in towards the end of 2021 in response to the Omicron variant and rising case numbers. I have summarised the key measures below, but please make sure you click on the links for the most up to date information.
- Mandatory negative test1 for anyone arriving in Portugal, even for those who have a digital vaccination certificate, regardless of the point of origin of the flight or the passenger’s nationality. This measure applies to air, land, sea and river borders. The certificate needs to meet the EU minimum data set.
- If arriving by sea or plane you also need to complete a Passenger Locator Form
- Mandatory negative tests2 are also required for visits to people in care homes and hospitals, and for entry to bars and clubs, sporting venues and large scale events without allocated seating
- Mandatory digital vaccination certificate when accessing restaurants, tourist establishments and local accommodation, events with allocated seating and gyms.
1 Tests for travel can either be a RT-PCR test (72 hrs before boarding) or a Laboratorial Rapid Antigen Test (48 hrs before boarding). The EU Commission Recommendation (EU) 20202/1743 of 18 November 2020 states that rapid antigen tests should conducted by trained healthcare personnel or trained operators where appropriate, and Portugal’s Airports website states “Self-tests of any kind are not accepted. Only antigen tests acceptable by the European Union Health Committee are accepted for travel as well as the minimum data that must be present on the test result document as set by the same entity.”
2 For these tests a RT-PCR Test, laboratorial Rapid Antigen Test or supervised self test performed at entrance are accepted. For more information on where tests are available visit the following links;
– travel tests at the Airport. Information at https://www.ana.pt/en/corporate/ana/faq;
– in a laboratory approved by the Portuguese Health General Directorate. Find the list at https://covid19.min-saude.pt/infoadrpcc/;
– in one of the hospitals and clinics included in the Portugal Health Passport that can provide you personalized support in your language. The test for Covid-19 must be scheduled with a consultation and the results will be available in up to 72 hours. More information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org;
– if you are in the Algarve, you find additional information about testing points at www.visitalgarve.pt, in the Azores visit www.visitazores.com / https://www.visitazores.com/en/trip-info / https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt and Madeira www.visitmadeira.pt / www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19 / https://covidmadeira.pt
Our Travel Tips
- Print off all the test and vaccination certificates rather than relying on digital copies. They will be checked, and having multiple files on a phone to find quickly to show someone else just makes life more complicated. I put our printed versions in a folder which we and the ground staff could flick through, this made it so much easier for us and the staff to find each one when requested/required.
- Check the official websites (see links at top of screen) at time of booking your travel, again before booking tests and again close to time of departure as test requirements can change at short notice
- If booking or using tests in the UK to travel to Europe make sure the methodology and certificates will meet EU requirements. Not all tests do!
- Be prepared for more queues than usual