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A Complete Guide to Travelling to Portugal Amid COVID-19

Anyone wanting to taste a glass of Portugal’s famous authentic Port wine, attend a football match, or visit its famous islands, such a thing is now possible as Portugal continues to keep its borders open.

Nonetheless, only travelers from certain countries, mainly from those that are part of the European Union or Schengen Area, can currently travel to Portugal provided that they follow entry rules.

Portugal, which had in place stringent lockdown measures in January in order to tackle the world’s worst COVID-19 surge, has just recently decided to re-impose measures due to the new Omicron variant that has been circulating within the EU.

As the situation continues to worsen, and with more places tightening their measures, the Portuguese authorities have highlighted that all services should respect the hygiene and sanitation measures in line with the rules set out by the Directorate-General for Health.

Additionally, Turismo de Portugal implemented a seal called “Clean & Safe”, which allows tourists and citizens of the country to experience greater security and confidence when using accommodation establishments in various attractions.

Who Is Banned from Entering Portugal?

Due to the detection of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant that is already circulating within the EU, the Portuguese authorities have announced that flights to and from several southern African countries have been suspended.

The travel ban for the Omicron-affected countries follows the recommendation of the European Union’s President, Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen advised the Member States to stop all travel to and from the southern African countries that have been affected by the Omicron variant.

In addition, she suggested that travel to and from these areas should remain suspended until there is a clear understanding of the risk posed by the new Coronavirus variant.

Thus, to halt the further spread of the Omicron variant, Portugal has banned entry for all citizens of the following countries:

South Africa







Nonetheless, Portugal still permits its citizens who have stayed in one of the above-mentioned areas in the last 14 days to return to the country.

All those who enter Portugal after staying in the Omicron-affected areas must stay self-isolated for 14 days at their home in another place indicated by the health authorities.

“All passengers from these countries or who present a passport with check-out in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Portugal must complete 14 days of prophylactic isolation at home or in a place indicated by the health authorities,” the Portuguese authorities explained.

Except for the quarantine requirement, passengers from these countries are also required to undergo a PCR or rapid antigen test upon their arrival at the airport.

“These measures are also applicable to citizens who enter the national territory by sea or land, with the necessary adaptations,” the authorities added.

Who Is Allowed to Enter Portugal?

In principle, travelers arriving from countries that have registered low infection rates during the last two weeks are allowed to enter Portugal for tourism purposes.

As soon as countries all over the world started their vaccination campaigns, Portugal’s authorities decided to open their borders for tourists planning to visit the country during the summer season.

As such, under the new rules, currently, Portugal permits entry for all travelers reaching its territory from European Union and Schengen Area countries

Besides the above-mentioned countries, Portugal also allows entry to travelers from several third countries that have registered low infection rates lately. In line with the most recent update, arrivals from the third countries listed below are permitted to enter Portugal:








South Korea

United Arab Emirates


New Zealand




Saudi Arabia



Special administrative region of Hong Kong

Special administrative region of Macao

What Are the Entry Requirements for EU/Schengen Area & Third Countries Permitted to Enter Portugal?

All persons entering Portugal are required to provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result. The PCR test should be performed within 72 hours before entry to Portugal, whereas the rapid antigen test result should be performed within 24 hours before entry.

Children under the age of 12 are exempted from the testing requirement.

It is highlighted that only rapid antigen tests approved by the European Union Health Committee are recognized.

Travelers who present a test result that is not in line with the country’s requirements must undergo testing on arrival at their own expense before entering Portugal’s territory.

Previously, Portugal didn’t require fully vaccinated and recovered travelers who hold an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate or another equivalent document to undergo testing.

However, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has announced that since December 1, all persons will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, regardless of their vaccination status or their nationality.

“From December 1: Mandatory negative test for all flights 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,” the authorities emphasized.

>> Portugal Announces New COVID-19 Measures – Imposes Testing Rules Even for Vaccinated Travellers

Apart from recognizing the certificate issued by EU/Schengen Area countries, it has been revealed that Portugal also accepts documents that have been issued by third countries, under reciprocal conditions.

“All citizens wishing to travel to Portugal by air, except children under the age of 12, must present the EU Covid Digital Certificate or vaccination or recovery certificate issued by third countries and whose validity is now recognized,” the Government explained.

In addition, all those planning to use air travel to reach Portugal are required to fill in a “Passenger Locator Card”. The form has been established by the country’s health authorities.

What Is Open in Portugal?

The Portuguese authorities have pointed out that even though the country is open for visitors, everyone should follow the rules that the country currently has in place.

Despite the fact that the country no longer has high COVID-19 infection rates, everyone is still required to keep a mask on when in public spaces.

“Mandatory use of mask in public transport (including air transport and taxis or TVDE), concert halls and events, large commercial surfaces, residential structures for the elderly, health establishments and services and by workers in bars, clubs, restaurants, and commercial and service establishments,” the authorities explained.

In contrast to previous months, public transport, taxis, and other passenger transportation mean now are functioning at full capacity.

Additionally, since October 1, the country has eased rules for several other places. According to Portugal’s official travel website, VisitPortugal, restaurants no longer have a limit for people who are allowed to be in the same space. Local commerce establishments, including weddings and other cultural shows, are also no longer restricted.

Moreover, bars and clubs are now open for everyone. However, the authorities have emphasized that since December 1, everyone, including fully vaccinated persons, must present a negative test result to be permitted access to these places.

The mandatory testing requirement now also applies to those who attend large events and sports venues.

Additionally, since December 1, all persons are required to provide a valid EU COVID Pass to be permitted access to restaurants, tourist establishments, events with reserved seats, and gyms.

Current COVID-19 Situation in Portugal

Similar to other European countries, Portugal has also been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the government managed to keep the situation under control by imposing strict restrictions when needed.

As of December 3, the country has identified 1,151,919 COVID-19 infection cases and 18,458 deaths.

Regarding the vaccination rates, the figures provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have shown that until now, 81.6 percent of the country’s entire population has been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease, whereas 88.4 percent have only taken a single dose.

The vaccines offered by the Portuguese authorities include Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Source - Schengen Visa Info


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