Unlocking the World

Travel to Portugal during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 30th November 2021
The Algarve is one of the best destinations for visitors to Portugal.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to Portugal, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

Portugal was in what the government called a State of Calamity, but the country then moved into a State of Contingency, easing restrictions in recognition of Portugal's vaccine rollout.
Now, Portugal has moved back to a State of Calamity, as cases appear to be on the rise.
In response, the Portuguese government has announced that from January 2 to January 9, 2022, remote working will be recommended to those able to work from home and schooling will occur remotely. Bars and clubs will also remain shut for this week.
Several cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have also been recorded in Portugal.
Portugal remains open for tourism with some restrictions in place. See more below.

What's on offer

Ancient towns, some of the loveliest coastline in Europe, and plenty of pasteis de nata. Portugal has long been overlooked in favor of Europe's bigger hitters, but over the past few years, that's started to change rapidly.
Capital Lisbon, with its trams rattling up hills and peerless views of the Tagus River, is the place to start. Then there's the Algarve, whose beach resorts are set atop crumbling cliffs, and the dramatic Atlantic coast, beloved by surfers, and the vast Alentejo region, whose landscapes and hilltop towns have been barely touched by tourism.

Who can go

Residents of the EU and Schengen-associated countries can travel to Portugal.
As of November 22, arrivals from the following destinations could enter Portugal -- Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uruguay, UAE, United Kingdom, USA and Hong Kong. See below for the rules.
As of December 1, all travelers entering Portugal must present a negative PCR or antigen test, regardless of their vaccination status or country of origin.

What are the restrictions?

These restrictions reflect arrivals to mainland Portugal. For instructions on going to the Azores or Madeira, see here.
For mainland Portugal, those coming from the main tranche of destinations -- including EU countries -- by plane must produce either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding, an antigen test taken within 48 hours or boarding, or a valid EU digital Covid certificate. Children under 12 do not need to have a test. All passengers must also complete a passenger locator card before departure.
Arriving in Portugal by sea entails the same entry regulations as air.
Arrivals are not subject to any entry restrictions if they enter Portugal by road or train.

What's the Covid situation?

Portugal has had more than 1.1 million cases and over 18,400 deaths as of November 30.
Cases rose over the summer months, although then dropped. More recently, cases have been rising again -- there were 20,584 new cases registered in the week leading up to November 30.
As of November 30, more than 16.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in Portugal and more than 86.9% percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

What can visitors expect?

Face masks are mandatory on public transport. They are also mandatory when attending concert events or similar events, and are worn by employees in bars, clubs and restaurants.
Public transport has unlimited capacity and there are no longer rules around riding in cars -- including taxis --- with other households.
There are also no longer limits on numbers of people sitting together in restaurants and bars, or caps on numbers at cultural events.
It's currently required to present an EU Covid Digital Certificate or a negative test at major cultural or sporting events, bars and clubs, health facilities or before traveling by air or sea.
From December 1, face masks will be mandatory in all closed spaces. You will also be required to show proof of vaccination in order to to enter restaurants, cinemas, tourist attractions and accommodation.
If you don't have an EU Covid Digital Certificate, you can show a negative Covid test result.
For full details, check out the VisitPortugal website.

Useful links

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