Coronavirus

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for mainland Portugal, Madeira and the Azores on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you enter Portugal.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

Check if you need a pre-departure test to travel to the UK. If you do, you are responsible for organising your own test and for checking when you book that the testing service can provide the appropriate COVID-19 test.

In Portugal, tests have to be booked in advance and paid for in full. You will not need a prescription, but you will have to show your passport and confirmed travel bookings. It can take up to 24 hours for the results to be returned. You can schedule a test at any private clinic. Find one near you from this list of approved facilities.

If you are staying in the Algarve, look out for information on testing facilities at the airport on arrival, or find a clinic near you on the Algarve tourist authority’s website. Your hotel may also be able to help you arrange a test in time for your departure.

If you are travelling to Madeira or Porto Santo, you can book your return COVID-19 test after you have uploaded your RT-PCR test for arrival on the Madeira Traveller Registration platform. This test is free of charge and carried out at the hospital in Funchal and health centre in Porto Santo. Alternatively, schedule your own COVID-19 test at one of the clinics listed on the Madeira Tourist Authority website.

If you are travelling to the Azores, book your return COVID-19 test at a clinic on the island where you are staying. Ask your hotel or local tourist office for help in finding a clinic closest to you.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will have to self-isolate for 10 days. If you continue to test positive, you may not be able to get a fitness-to-fly certificate. You may also need to seek treatment.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Portugal

You should follow the advice of the Portuguese authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Social distancing measures and other safety precautions are still in force and should be observed at all times:

  • Keep a social distance of 1.5 metres
  • Use a face mask in enclosed public spaces and outdoors where social distancing of 1.5 m cannot be maintained
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and use a hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available
  • follow any safety measures put in place by hotels, restaurants, bars and shops to reduce the risk of infection

Travel between Madeira and Porto Santo

Check the requirements on the Madeira Islands official website.

Inter-island travel in the Azores

Check the requirements on the Visit Azores official website.

Public spaces and services

Mainland Portugal

Portugal has declared a ’state of calamity’. Restrictions in force include the following requirements:

  • to show an EU digital COVID certificate (or UK vaccination record – see below) to enter restaurants, tourist establishments and hotels, gyms, and events with reserved seating
  • to present a negative Covid-19 test (PCR or Antigen), even if vaccinated, to enter care homes, when visiting patients in hospitals and healthcare institutions, entering bars, nightclubs, sports arenas and events without reserved seating
  • to wear a face mask in all enclosed spaces and anywhere else that is not subject to exemption by the Portuguese Health Authority
  • to wear a face mask outdoors where social distancing cannot be maintained
  • these requirements do not apply to children under the age of 12 (i.e. up to and including 11)

Portugal will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record (digital or paper). If you are travelling with a printed copy of your record, it must date from 1 November onwards to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully, when necessary. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

The Portuguese government has announced that nightclubs and bars will be closed between 2 to 9 January 2022, to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Use of COVID vaccination and recovery certificates and negative test results

If you do not have a UK vaccination or recovery certificate or an EU digital COVID certificate, you may show a negative COVID test result, obtained by one of the following means:

  • Certified PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours
  • Certified antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours
  • Rapid antigen self-test done within the previous 24 hours and certified by a health or pharmaceutical professional

Face coverings

You must wear a face mask in enclosed spaces. You should wear your face covering when you enter the building and keep it on until you leave. In cafes and restaurants, keep your mask on until you are seated. In mainland Portugal and in the autonomous region of the Azores, you are also advised to wear a face mask outdoors where it is not possible to maintain a 1.5 m social distance from other members of the public. In the autonomous region of Madeira, the use of a mask outdoors is obligatory where social distancing is not possible.

These measures apply to everyone over the age of 10 on mainland Portugal and in the Azores, and from the age of 6 in Madeira and Porto Santo.

You can be fined if you breach the regulations.

Exemptions from wearing a face covering differ in Portugal compared to the UK. You may be exempt from using a face mask both indoors and out on medical grounds. You will have to show a declaration from your doctor as evidence that you have a health condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering. You should observe strict social distancing and limit the time you spend in common areas in enclosed spaces. For further information (in Portuguese) on exemptions, see decree-law 62-A/2020 (Article 3(2).

Accommodation

Check any accommodation you book meets the required hygiene and cleaning standards and look out for the Portuguese Tourist Board’s “clean and safe” certification.

Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores

You should follow the advice of the regional authorities on how best to protect yourself and others. Restrictions remain in force. These are different to the mainland.

Madeira and Porto Santo

Madeira is in a state of contingency. Measures in place include the requirement to show a vaccination certificate or negative antigen test, renewable weekly, on access to:

  • sporting, social and cultural events, events relating to the Christmas festivities, cinemas, casinos, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, gyms and beauty salons
  • supermarkets and grocery stores, shopping centres, pharmacies, the post office and service stations
  • clinics and health centres, veterinary clinics, public services, churches and public transport

These measures do not apply to children under the age of 12 (i.e. up to and including 11) or to those who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated. In this case, you will need to show a formal declaration from your doctor confirming that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Keep up-to-date with the restrictions in force in Madeira and Porto Santo on the Madeira Islands official website (check under “other information”)

The Azores

The restrictions in place in the Azores can vary from island to island depending on the level of risk. Check the restrictions in place on each island on the regional government’s website.

Healthcare in Portugal

If you need emergency medical assistance, call 112 and ask for an ambulance.

If you are feeling unwell, but it’s not an emergency, call:

  • Mainland Portugal: (+351) 808 24 24 24, press 9 for English
  • Madeira and Porto Santo: (+351) 800 24 24 20
  • Azores:(+351) 808 24 60 24

COVID-19 testing is carried out free-of-charge if you are referred by a Portuguese national health service doctor.

If you need a COVID-19 test in order to travel, you should arrange to take a private test. See ‘Returning to the UK’.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Portugal.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Portugal

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Portuguese government announces any new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

Portugal has three vaccination plans. One for the mainland , one for Madeira and Porto Santo and one for the Azores (only available in Portuguese).

The Portuguese national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines. British nationals resident in Portugal who have a permanent or temporary healthcare user’s number are eligible for vaccination.

If you live in mainland Portugal and you have not yet had a COVID-19 vaccination, ask your health centre for details of how you can be vaccinated now. If you do not have a healthcare user’s number, apply for a temporary one using this form or ask your health centre to register you for healthcare. You will need a Portuguese mobile number for this purpose.

COVID-19 Boosters and Seasonal Flu Vaccine

If you are aged 75 or over and you received the last dose of your COVID-19 vaccine at least 180 days ago, you can have a COVID-19 booster and seasonal flu jab on the weekend from 9am to 7pm at one of the vaccination or health centres listed on the health authority’s website. You do not need to book an appointment. Take your passport or other form of identification, your healthcare user’s number and/or your COVID vaccination card.

If you are aged 65 or over, you can book an appointment for a COVID-19 booster and flu jab on the health authority’s website.

If you live in Madeira, and have not yet had a COVID-19 vaccination, go to a vaccination centre and ask to be vaccinated now. If you have any questions, call the health authorities on 800 210 263 or send an email to vacinacao@sesaram.pt. If you have already been vaccinated, check whether you are eligible for a booster. If you live in the Azores and you have not yet been vaccinated, use this form to register for the vaccine.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Portugal, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

If you have received your COVID-19 vaccination in Portugal, you can get an EU Digital COVID Certificate from the health authorities. For further information, visit the European Commission’s EU Digital COVID Certificate page.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Help and support

While you are in Portugal, your safety and security is the responsibility of the Portuguese authorities. You should follow their advice and comply with the measures they have put in place.

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.