No tests, no forms and (almost) no masks. Portugal is ready and hoping for hordes of Britons to fly in for a hassle-free summer break, 2019-style.
While Portugal’s Covid-19 rules were often harder to predict than its famously warm weather over the past two years, the bright spring sunshine has chased away most of the remaining pandemic clouds.
If April can offer a forecast of the warmer months to come, expect beach days knocking back plates of garlicky clams and jugs of white wine. Faces are expected to be clear indoors and out, with only scattered mask use on public transport and in taxis.
Travellers will need to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test to enter the mainland.
Family breaks in Portugal are fairly straightforward too, with children aged 11 or under exempt from entry requirements and over-12s who are not fully vaccinated permitted to enter with a negative test result or proof of recovery from Covid.
What’s more Portugal has become the first major EU country to break Brexit protocols by treating British travellers in broadly the same way as EU citizens at its borders – British tourists are now able to bypass the dreaded ‘other passports’ queue and use fast-track e-gates at the country’s key airports.
Take note that Portugal’s autonomous island region, Madeira, has different rules to the mainland and the Azores. The major difference being unvaccinated travellers may need a weekly test to enter venues or restaurants.
Here’s what you need to know when planning a trip to Portugal.
Can I go to Portugal?
Yes, Portugal is welcoming British arrivals, however, there are some restrictions in place (see below).
Are flights operating?
Direct flights between the UK and Portugal are currently operating. Jet2, Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet are among the airlines currently flying to Portugal.
Will I be insured if I go?
As the FCDO doesn’t warn against non-essential travel to Portugal, insurance policies are easier to come by.
Do I need to take a test before travel to Portugal?
To enter mainland Portugal and the Azores, travellers need to show proof of vaccination, a pre-departure laboratory test or a recovery certificate. Yes, fully vaccinated travellers are allowed to enter Portugal without taking a test. Unvaccinated travellers need to take a PCR within 72 hours of flight departure, or a rapid antigen (lateral flow) within 24 hours. Children under 12 are exempt.
Madeira has no restrictions on entry and requires no documents. If you are unvaccinated, visitors may need to show proof of a rapid antigen test, valid for a week, at restaurants, bars and hotels around the islands.
Do I need to fill in any forms?
Yes, all arrivals must fill in a passenger locator form.
What are the rules for children?
Children aged 11 or under are exempt from entry requirements and over-12s, who are not fully vaccinated, are permitted to enter with a negative test result or proof of recovery from Covid.