Portugal: All you need to know about Covid travel restrictions
Photo: Dominik Kuhn, Unsplash
Europe 2021 - Blog post series on Covid travel rules
It's no easy feat figuring out rules for traveling abroad these days. Rules can change drastically from one day to the other and trusting your airline or travel agent to provide you with all the correct instructions may not be the wisest choice.
We want to help you out, so we decided to write a blog post series detailing Covid travel restrictions by country. Even though we can't promise to have the most up-to-date rules either after the post date (I'm not kidding when I say things change very often!), at least we'll provide you with all the links you need to find the updated official information.
Check out our other blog posts on general rules in the EU and specific rules for traveling to Germany.
Who can travel without restrictions?
No travel bans* for visitors:
From the EU and Schengen** area;
From: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, China, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, New Zealand, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Northern Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States of America and special admnistrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao (info last updated in July 26, 2021. Check out the updated list here, in English)
From the UK, but with the following restrictions:
14-day quarantine, unless the traveller:
can provide a certificate of full vaccination completed at least 14 days prior, with one of the vaccines approved by the EU;
is below 18 years of age and accompanying adults that are completely vaccinated, as explained in item 3.a.i.
travelers obligated to self-isolate must register with Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (in English).
All travellers arriving in Portugal by air or sea must present:
a negative result in a Covid test carried out 72h before boarding for RT-PCR (or similar NAAT tests) and 48h hours before boarding for rapid antigen tests. Children younger than 12 do not need to get tested;
Vaccination certificate (EU Covid Digital Certificate or, in the case of visitors from the UK, a vaccination certificate that proves full vaccination with a EU approved vaccine, carried out at least 14 days before - check the previous item for UK restrictions). Travelers from the EU or UK that present proof of vaccination do not need to present a negative test result.
a filled-out Passenger Locator Card.
There are no restrictions for visitors entering Portugal by land (cars and trains), unless they come from:
the UK, in which case they must provide a negative test result and comply with the 14-day quarantine, if not fully vaccinated (same restrictions as the ones applicable to air travel for UK visitors, check above);
Brazil, India, Nepal and South Africa, having been in one of those countries in the last 14 days.
Travelers from Brazil, India, Nepal and South Africa will only be allowed entry in the case of essential travel (check below) and must:
present a negative Covid test result carried out 72h prior to boarding in the case of RT-PCR tests (or similar NAAT tests) and 48h prior to boarding for rapid antigen tests. Children younger than 12 are not required to comply;
self-isolate for 14 days, at home or a location designated by the health authority;
fill-out the Passenger Locator Card, one for each member of the party.
register with Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras.
Keep in mind that Portuguese authorities do not accept test results provided by text messages or SMS. Test certificates must include:
type of test taken;
passenger name (the same as in the passport);
date of birth;
clear identification of the laboratory, including the certification;
the date and time the sample was collected and the explicit negative test result.
Passengers unable to present test results that comply with these rules will be required to carry out a test on arrival, before entry into Portugal. The costs of testing will be borne by the traveler, who will be required to remain in a designated space inside the airport until the results of the test come out.
Foreigners that need to carry out further Covid tests in Portugal, can do so:
at the airports of Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Madeira;
in one of the certified labs (in Portuguese);
in one of the hospitals and clinics included in the Portugal Health Passport. They can provide you with personalized support in your language. The test 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 can find information about testing points at www.visitalgarve.pt
What is considered essential travel?
In Portugal, travel is considered essential for professional, study, family reunion, health or humanitary reasons.
Travelers from Brazil, India, Nepal and South Africa are only allowed entry if they provide proof of an essential travel need.
The purpose of the travelling must hold a duly established essential function or need. The evaluation of the evidence provided by the traveler will be made by the border authority, at their discretion. Portuguese consular authorities will not provide certificates or invitation letters beforehand.
Visiting family members and loved ones is possible
EU and Schengen** area citizens, their family members, or third country nationals with residency in the EU are allowed to enter Portugal.
In the case of couples, the relationship must be stable and long-lasting. Visitors should provide proof of regular visits and meetings, joint travelling, common assets, joint accounts, administrative documents for the same address, amongst others.
Rules for travelers in transit through Portugal
Transit passengers must also comply with applicable Covid restrictions, including testing and forms.
They are, however, exempt from the obligation to self-isolate (if applicable) as long as they stay in Portuguese territory for less than 48h and can provide proof by presenting a travel ticket.
You still need to check entry regulations of the countries you’re travelling to several times. Make sure you know all the rules when planning your trip but confirm everything before buying tickets and on the week and day before your trip.
Take a copy of the latest travel rules of your destination country with you. They change often and sometimes even airlines or immigration officials from countries other than your destination may not have been updated on the latest changes.
Disclaimer: this post is for information purposes only and is based on info available on July 29, 2021. You need to search the official sources for verifiable and up-to-date information.
* "No travel-ban visitors" are travelers who do not face restrictions on travel due to Covid and are allowed to go on leisure trips to the destination country listed. Other restrictions, such as visas, may apply.
** The Schengen area includes the countries of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Links to updated and trustworthy info:
Covid 19 measures implemented in Portugal (in English), VisitPortugal.com
Covid 19 FAQ (in English), Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras
PDF leaflet with general info on travel to Portugal (in Portuguese), Foreign Business Ministry of Portugal, Portal das Comunidades Portuguesas
General info on travel to Portugal (in Portuguese), Portal das Comunidades Portuguesas
FAQ on travel to Portugal (in Portuguese), Portal das Comunidades Portuguesas
Info on lockdown measures in Portugal (in English), Estamos On Portal
So, did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section if there is anything else you would like us to cover.