Portugal travel rules: What are the latest restrictions for holidaymakers?

Portugal has long been a favorite with British holidaymakers, thanks to sunny stretches and sandy beaches in the Algarve, excellent surf swells and exquisite city break destinations in the form of capital Lisbon and second city Porto.

For a time, it was wary of letting in tourists, requiring proof of vaccination for entry. However, it joined a number of European countries in scrapping Covid travel restrictions.

Here’s everything you need to know before you go.

Do I need proof of vaccination or a test to visit Portugal?

No. As of 1 July, Britons can visit the mainland and the island of Madeira without having to show proof of vaccination, test or quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.

The exception among Portuguese territories is the Azores – this autonomous region still requires all visitors over 11 to show either proof of vaccination or take a Covid test (a PCR within 72 hours or an antigen within 24).

Do I need to fill in a passenger locator form for Portugal?

Nope; a passenger locator form is no longer required for entry to mainland Portugal, Madeira and the Azores.

Do I need to wear a mask while on holiday in Portugal?

Most restrictive measures have been lifted, but you will still need to use a face covering in mainland Portugal:

  • on entry to medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes
  • on public transport and in taxis and private hires, and
  • on flights

This requirement does not apply to children aged nine and under.

In Maderia, those aged six and over must wear a mask:

  • on entry to pharmacies, medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes
  • on public transport and in taxis and private hires, and
  • at bus stations, ferry terminals and inside the airport building

In the Azores, you must:

  • use a face covering on entry to pharmacies, medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes, on public transport, in taxis and private hires and when traveling by air. This measure applies to everyone aged nine and over
  • show a negative Covid-19 test on entry to medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes in the form of a PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours, or a rapid antigen test taken in the previous 48 hours and certified by a healthcare professional

Has Brexit changed the rules for visiting Portugal?

The rule changes that could trip you up on a visit to Portugal in 2022 are more likely to be Brexit-related than Covid-related. Since the UK left the European Union, there are new rules regarding length and frequency of visits to countries in the Schengen Area (including Portugal), as well as rules around passport stamps and validity.

To visit an EU country post-Brexit, your passport must be:

  • issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the “date of issue”)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the “expiry date”)

There is also now a time limit on how long and how often you can visit Portugal, visa free. The Foreign Office advises: “You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

“To stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Portuguese government’s entry requirements.”

You must also have your passport stamped on arrival and on exit from the country. Make sure this takes place at passport control to avoid any confusion over how long you have been there.

You may also need to show a return or onward ticket to indicate when you are leaving Portugal, and could be asked to demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your stay.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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