Some travellers may get to skip quarantine in Portugal this summer

Apr 16, 2021

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Portugal is trying to rebuild its tourism sector, and wants visitors to be able to avoid having to quarantine this summer.

The country’s secretary of state for tourism said on Wednesday that Portugal would try “at all costs to avoid quarantines and additional COVID-19 tests” for international arrivals if the European Union’s Digital Green Certificate proposal moves forward, Reuters reported.

That means British travellers could holiday this summer in Portugal without needing to test or quarantine if they meet certain requirements. Of course, that’s if the U.K. allows international travel to resume this summer — it’s currently slated for a 17 May return, though it could be pushed back.

In This Post

What to know about visiting Portugal

Elevador da Gloria in Lisbon. (Photo by Westend61 / Getty Images)

People who reside in the European Union, including U.S. citizens who are lawful residents of EU member states, can visit Portugal for essential travel.

At this time, travellers going to Portugal for essential reasons must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours and at the airport. Travellers also face a health screening and must self-quarantine for 14 days. Masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and outside when social distancing isn’t possible.

Portugal earlier this year implemented a lockdown and banned all non-essential international travel for its own citizens amid rising COVID-19 cases. And on 15 April, Portugal extended its state of emergency for an additional 15 days.

What you need to visit Portugal

Keep in mind that all non-essential travel from the U.K. abroad — such as for holidays — is still off-limits. When travel does return, it will use a traffic light system. We expect Portugal to be a green list country, which means that there will be no quarantine required on return to England, but you will need two COVID-19 tests: one prior to departure and one within two days of arrival.

The U.K. government laid out the following guidelines and requirements for tourists.


  • Travellers arriving from the United Kingdom must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours before boarding and at the airport.

Upon arrival

  • Passengers without a negative test result will be subject to mandatory testing at the airport and mandatory quarantine.
  • Failure to present a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival in Portugal is a violation resulting in fines from £260 to £695.

Things to know while in Portugal

(Photo by Elena Ara Oliver / Getty Images)

While in Portugal, all people (visitors and residents) are required to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Wear a mask

As of 19 April, the following activities will open, according to Visit Portugal:

  • Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and concert halls
  • All shops and shopping centres
  • Restaurants, cafes and bakeries will be open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends and public holidays. Groups of four people are allowed inside or six people on terraces
  • Physical activity and outdoor training up to six people
  • Outdoor events allowed with reduced attendance

As of 3 May, the following activities will open:

  • Restaurants can open with no time limit, and groups of six people are allowed inside or 10 people on terraces.
  • Large outdoor and indoor events allowed with reduced occupancy.

Featured photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images

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