Written by Christopher Nye, Senior Content Editor, Property Guides
Last Modified: 7th October 2021

Good news! As of Monday 4 October 2021, the UK government has relaxed its international travel rules making it easier and cheaper to visit Portugal. Here’s what you need to know when planning a trip there…

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On arrival in Portugal

Portugal has no quarantine rules for those who are fully vaccinated, and if you are not fully vaccinated, you also don’t need to quarantine if you show a negative PCR test or antigen test on arrival. To be classed as fully vaccinated, you must have had your second dose at least a fortnight before arrival in Portugal.

You will also need to complete an online passenger locator card before you arrive in Portugal.

There are different entry requirements for the Portuguese islands, so do check each island’s rules.

Returning to the UK

As of 4 October 2021, the previous traffic light system has been replaced by a simplified travel system in which countries are placed in one of two categories: the red list or the rest of the world. Portugal is currently in the rest of the world category. This means that:

If you are fully vaccinated, you will not need to:

  • take a pre-departure test
  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England

Instead, you just have to:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England and which can be a cheaper, lateral flow test rather than the current requirement of a PCR test
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will have to do the following, plus quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days:

  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

Health and infection rate in Portugal

Covid infections in Portugal have fallen significantly over the last couple of months, which enabled the government to relax many of the country’s restrictions on the 1 October. As of 6 October, the country has a rolling 7-day average of 573 new cases a day and around 6 deaths per day.

Portugal’s vaccination rollout is the best in the world with the highest percentage of people fully vaccinated (around 97% of the population!).

Rules within Portugal

On the 1 October, Portugal relaxed many of its restrictions.

Capacity limits have now been scrapped for cafes and restaurants. You also no longer have to wear a mask and show an EU Digital Covid Certificate on the weekends when inside these establishments.

Nightclubs have finally been allowed to open. To enter, you must show a vaccination certificate, a negative covid test from the last 72 hours or that you have recently recovered from the virus.

Cultural spaces, concerts and events are also open at full capacity.

Masks are still required on public transport.

On the islands, however, some restrictions still apply. For example, in Madeira, restaurants, cafes and bars must close by 1am and can only be two-thirds full.

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Property buying in Portugal

It is perfectly possible to view homes in person, and complete all the usual legal and bureaucratic processes. Although you can do that in person, you can also do it virtually and by power of attorney if you prefer.

Make the most out of your trip to see properties with our guide, Your Viewing Trip. Find out what you need to consider and do to have a successful trip.

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