A Guide To What You Need When Entering Portugal after Dec 1st
The Portuguese government has introduced new measures to manage Covid-19 from December 1st, some of which affect arrivals to Portugal by air, sea or land. See our guide to help clarify the requirements.
WHO DOES THE OBLIGATION TO SUBMIT THE COVID TEST TO ENTER PORTUGAL APPLY TO?
All passengers, regardless of nationality – including Portuguese – and where they come from, are required from December 1st to submit a negative Covid test in order to enter Portugal. This applies even to people who are already vaccinated or recovered.
ARE CHILDREN ALSO COVERED BY THIS RULE?
Only children under 12 years old are excluded from the requirement to present a negative covid test for travel. If they are over 12 years old, the same rule as for adults applies.
WHO MONITORS THIS?
The airlines and border control are obliged to check the negative test of all passengers who are travelling to Portugal, which must be done at the time of check-in – with a fine of €20,000 thousand per passenger in case of infringement.
DOES THE OBLIGATION TO SUBMIT COVID TESTS ALSO APPLY TO THOSE ENTERING MADEIRA AND THE AZORES?
No, the measures announced by António Costa to come into force on December 1st apply to mainland Portugal. The autonomous regions are responsible for their own rules. But all passengers travelling from Madeira or the Azores to Mainland Portugal, Portuguese or foreign, must present a negative test at’check in’ to be able to board (in the opposite direction of the trip, the rules decreed by the autonomous regions are complied with) .
ACCORDING TO THE NEW RULES, IS A NEGATIVE TEST NEEDED AT ‘CHECK IN’ WHEN TRAVELLING ‘FROM’ A PORTUGUESE AIRPORT?
No, this depends on the rules adopted by the countries you are travelling to. The scope of the measures announced is limited to passengers disembarking in Portugal and hence the control of the test must be carried out during ‘check in’ at the destination from which you leave.
IN THE EVENT OF SHORT-TERM TRIPS (FOR EXAMPLE, LEAVES ON DECEMBER 1ST AND RETURN ON DEC 2ND): IT IS POSSIBLE TO TAKE A TEST IN PORTUGAL AND USE IT WHEN CHECKING IN IN THE COUNTRY FROM WHICH YOU WILL DEPART?
Yes, as long as the covid test carried out within the valid time before departure – which for PCR is within 72 hours and for antigen within 48 hours. Beware of delayed flights, etc – this may cause the test to become outdated and thus prevent your trip.
WHAT TESTS ARE VALID IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO TRAVEL?
Tests can be PCR (laboratory) or antigen (pharmaceutical) tests. Only self-tests (ie, NHS home tests) which do not provide a certificate are excluded. It is important to respect the validity of the tests: PCR can be performed within 72 hours before travel and antigen tests within 48 hours before.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE TAKE THE TESTS TO TRAVEL?
Tests must be taken at the destination you are leaving from (unless the test taken leaving Portugal is still valid, as stated above). It is important that, regardless of the destination where the test is carried out, they can be recognised, that is, they contain information reporting with the date, time and type of test performed. If they do not contain all this information – date, time and type of test – they are not considered valid for entering Portugal.
DOES THE TEST OBLIGATION APPLY ONLY TO THOSE ENTRYING BY AIR?
No, it applies to all people who enter the Portuguese mainland, whether by air, sea or land.
IF YOU COME FROM SPAIN BY CAR, DO YOU NEED TO HAVE A VALID TEST?
Yes, although at present the land borders are open, but at any time, security authorities can ask random travellers for the document.
BECAUSE OF THE NEW RULES, WILL THERE BE MORE CONTROL POINTS AT THE AIRPORTS FOR THOSE ARRIVING ON A TRIP?
António Costa stated that control at airports will be strengthened, even using private security companies to ensure that test certificate checks are carried out on all passengers and not randomly. How this will actually come in to practice is still being studied by the Government, but the idea is that it will come into force on 1st December.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/