Portugal no longer requires to have a PCR test to visit for holidays

Sun Online Desk

14th June, 2021 04:16:42 PM printer

Portugal no longer requires to have a PCR test to visit for holidays

Brits will no longer be required to take a PCR test to go on Portugal holidays, as the country has changed its entry requirements for UK travellers.

You'll still be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, but this can now be either a PCR test or an antigen test.

The rules on when to take the test differ depending on your choice. PCR tests need to have been taken within 72 hours of travel, while antigen tests need to have been taken within 24 hours of travel.

The Foreign Office has changed its advice for Portugal accordingly, explaining the new requirements.
It now says: "With the exception of children up to the age of 2, you must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to or through Portugal. The test can be:

a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), including RT-PCR, taken within 72 hours of travel, or
an Antigen test that meets the performance standards set out in the EU common list of Rapid Antigen Tests, taken within 24 hours of travel.

"You must show your test certificate before you board your flight to Portugal. Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot show this at check-in. Check with your airline before you travel."

There was hope for the summer when Portugal was placed on the UK's initial green list, allowing Brits to visit with no need for quarantine or multiple PCR tests when back in the UK.

However, holidaymakers were dealt a blow when just a few weeks later, the country was subsequently moved on to the amber list, which requires anyone returning to the UK to self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take PCR tests on days two and eight. (There is an option to take a test on day five and be 'released' early).

To make things even more confusing, the Foreign Office still doesn't advise against non-essential travel to Portugal, which means that anyone who has a holiday booked isn't automatically entitled to get their money back.

However, a number of travel firms have been offering flexibility around changing holidays, including the scenario where a destination is on the amber list.

For example, TUI has said it will continue to destinations "where borders are open and FCDO advice allows travel", which includes Portugal, but the company also allows you to change your holiday for free.

According to data from Reuters, Portugal's coronavirus case numbers are rising with about 641 new infections reported on average each day. (It's worth noting this is still only 5% of the peak reported back in January).

Always check the Foreign Office's Portugal travel advice before planning, booking or going on a trip.