With the Easter holidays approaching, many of our customers are asking if travelling to Portugal is possible. And if so, when?
We are presenting here details of the most recent COVID rules and restrictions in Portugal.
António Costa, Portugal’s Prime Minister, announced the country’s roadmap for easing lockdown measures in Portugal in 2021. Generally, the lockdown is set to continue until Easter, however some restrictions are already slowly being lifted as Portugal once again begins to return to next-to-normal after the pandemic.
So, when can you travel to Portugal from abroad? The answer depends on your destination of origin. Portugal has currently been removed as a red list country across the world and air travel restrictions are slowly being lifted, yet with a wide range of COVID entry requirements in Portugal.
Air travel to mainland Portugal is currently allowed for the following territories: EU member states, Schengen Associated Countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland), Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay.
All travellers entering Portugal must present a negative PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior to travel and a filled in Passenger Locator Card (https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card). If you are an official resident in Portugal, you will be allowed to enter with your residence proof, no matter what your country of origin.
Travellers from countries with a COVID incidence rate of over 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, must present a negative test upon arrival and observe 14 days of self-isolation.
Flights from the UK and Brazil remain subject to the strict restrictions due to the virus mutants. Passengers will only be allowed to enter Portugal if they are either Portuguese nationals or residents. They must also present a PCR test with a negative result, and upon arriving in Portugal, they must comply with a period of 14 days of quarantine either at home or in a location indicated by the health authorities.
It is recommended to check your airline webpage and websites of local authorities to obtain the latest information about procedures and restrictions before travelling as these rules and regulations are subject to change.
The Portuguese Government has set up a roadmap out of lockdown following several stages:
Stage 1: Portugal started to open up on 15th March. Nursery schools and the youngest primary school children returned to school. Some commercial establishments were able to open for home delivery or click and collect purposes only. Restaurants were allowed to open for takeaways. Parks, gardens, green spaces, the beaches and leisure spaces are allowed to be listed for public.
Stage 2: The next phase will provisionally take place after the Easter holidays on 5th April. This stage will include the re-opening of museums, palaces and galleries, shops of more than 200m2 if they open onto the street and physical activity and outdoor training can resume for groups of up to 4 people. Terraces can operate for groups of a maximum of 4 people.
Stage 3: Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and concert halls may open their doors on 19th April, if everything goes according to plan, along will all other shops and shopping centres. Restaurants and cafés will allow to open until 10 pm on working days and until 1pm at the weekend and on public holidays. Groups of 4 people will be allowed inside or groups of 6 people on outdoor terraces. Physical activity outdoors in a group will be possible for 6 people, while outdoor events will be allowed (with reduced attendance/capacity limits).
Stage 4: If things go according to plan and the number of coronavirus cases doesn’t rise, the final stage is set to begin on 3rd May. This includes the opening of restaurants and cafés with no closing time limit and in these establishments, groups of 6 people will be allowed to dine inside or group of 10 people on terraces. Large outdoor and indoor events will also be allowed to resume with reduced attendance, including weddings with 50% capacity.
The general Coronavirus rules and regulations for Easter in Portugal continue to be stay at home, unless absolutely necessary.
One of the main restrictions in Portugal during the Easter period is a ban on travelling between municipalities. This will apply from 12:01am on 26th March 2021 and will be in force until midnight on 5th April 2021. Travel will only be allowed for absolutely necessary purposes and with evidence of the essential nature of your journey if stopped by the police.
Therefore, if you travel to your holiday home in Portugal, remember that you must follow the rules outlined by the local authorities.
All the traditional Easter processions in Portugal are suspended for Easter 2021, while general lockdown rules such as social distancing, wearing a mask and teleworking still apply. Note that all COVID-19 fines will be doubled during the Easter holidays.