Foreign travel advice


COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.


Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Portugal. The Portuguese authorities have put in place a series of measures to limit the spread of the virus. If you are currently in Portugal, follow the advice of local authorities.

Portugal declared a state of emergency on 18 March. This activated a series of measures including significant restrictions on movement throughout the country. These measures (available in Portuguese) affect:

Public places and transport

Public gatherings are banned, most shops other than those selling food or other essential items such as pharmacies will be closed. All citizens have been instructed to remain at home unless they need to carry out one of the following activities:

  • to buy food or other essential items
  • to go to work if unable to work from home
  • to go to hospital or health centres
  • to carry out caring or similar duties or in case of real need
  • to return to their primary residence
  • to exercise outdoors or walk pets, for short periods and never in groups

Public transport services are operating at reduced levels.

Restrictions on movements over Easter

From 00h01 on 9 April until 23h59 on 13 April, all Portuguese airports will be closed to passenger traffic. If you have a flight booked for this period, contact your airline for details of changes to your reservation.

During the same period, you will be required to restrict your movements to the municipality in which you’re staying, except for work purposes. In this case, you must carry a letter confirming your place of work.

At the same time, no more than 5 people will be allowed to gather together at once.

Campsites and motorhome parks

Campsites and motorhome parks are closed to tourists and visitors. If you are a permanent resident of a campsite or motorhome park you will not be affected.

Ports and vessels

Cruise ships can berth at ports on mainland Portugal, but passengers can only disembark if they are Portuguese nationals or residents. Recreational vessels and private yachts are not permitted to dock, except for refuelling or taking on supplies. Passengers may only disembark to return to their country of origin and once they have completed 14 days’ self-quarantine on board, starting from the day the vessel entered Portuguese territorial waters.

Madeira and the Azores

The regional governments of Madeira and the Azores recommend against all but essential travel to and from the archipelagos until further notice. If you are travelling to these regions you will be subject to health screening and mandatory quarantine for a period of 14 days. If you are travelling to Madeira, complete and submit this online form 24-48 hours before arrival. If you are travelling to the Azores, complete and submit this form 24-48 hours before arrival.

At midnight on 2 April, the regional government of the Azores imposed restrictions on movement between municipalities on the island of São Miguel, except:

  • to buy food or other essential items
  • to go to work (and provided you have an explanatory letter from your employer)
  • to go to hospital or health centres
  • to carry out caring or similar duties or in case of real need

Cruise ships and yachts will not be permitted to dock at any of the ports in Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores.

Local authority advice and helplines

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. For more information, see the Portuguese Ministry of Health website (available in English by clicking on the green globe symbol). If you are feeling unwell and need assistance, call the Ministry’s helplines on:

  • Mainland Portugal: (+351) 808 24 24 24, press 5 for English.
  • Madeira, call (+351) 800 24 24 20.
  • Azores, call (+351) 808 24 60 24.

If you’re planning to travel to Portugal, you should consult your airline or tour operator.

For information on how to return to the UK from Portugal, see Return to the UK.

Further information on coronavirus, including advice on preparing for foreign travel and helping reduce the spread of the virus, is available from Public Health England and on the TravelHealthPro website