This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Portugal set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are travelling to Portugal for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus
Entry to Portugal, including the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores
You can travel to Portugal for any purpose from the EU/EEA or from the UK and some other non-EU/EEA countries.
If you are travelling from any other non-EU/EEA country, you can only enter for essential purposes, such as to live with immediate family members, or for professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.
Entering mainland Portugal
Before you travel to mainland Portugal
If you have an NHS COVID Pass or an EU digital COVID vaccination certificate showing you have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before you travel, or an EU COVID recovery certificate showing you have recovered from COVID-19 no less than 11 days and no more than 180 days of when you are due to travel:
- you do not need to have a COVID-19 test to enter Portugal, however some airlines have not yet updated their requirements. Check with your airline before you travel
- be prepared to show a digital or paper copy of your COVID vaccination or recovery certificate when you check-in for your flight, and
- complete an online passenger locator card
If you do not have an NHS COVID Pass or an EU digital COVID certificate, you must:
take a COVID-19 pre-departure test before you travel (children under the age of 12, i.e. up to and including 11, are exempt)
this can be an antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure, or a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. If you have an antigen test, make sure it meets the standards set out in the EU common list of Rapid Antigen Tests
check your test result identifies the type of test taken and gives your name, date of birth, the date and time the sample was collected and the date of the result
you should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test
complete an online passenger locator card
Portugal may accept other countries’ COVID vaccination certificates for the purpose of entry. Check with your airline or the Portuguese Consulate in your country of origin for more information before you travel.
On arrival in mainland Portugal
You will be subject to health screening on arrival. If your temperature is 38ºC or over or you show signs of being unwell, you may be required to take a COVID-19 test and remain at the airport until you receive your test result.
If you are travelling from the UK or another non-EU/EEA country, you may be asked to show your COVID-19 vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 test at border control.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status for entry to mainland Portugal
The authorities in mainland Portugal will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. 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.
Quarantining on arrival in mainland Portugal
If you have travelled from India, Nepal or South Africa to mainland Portugal and you do not have an NHS COVID Pass or EU digital COVID vaccination or recovery certificate as described above, you must quarantine for 14 days at your own accommodation or at a place indicated by the Portuguese health authority.
The rules on quarantining apply to passengers arriving by air, as well as by road, rail or sea.
If the quarantining rules apply to you, complete this form.
Airside transit in mainland Portugal
If you are transiting Portugal by air on your way to another country, unless you have an NHS COVID Pass or an EU digital COVID vaccination or recovery certificate as described above, you need to show a negativeCOVID-19 pre-departure test certificate, even if you do not intend to leave the airport. You should also check the COVID-19 entry requirements for your destination country.
Travelling through Spain and France to Portugal
Check the requirements for crossing the land border into Portugal from Spain.
Entering Madeira and Porto Santo
Before you travel to Madeira and Porto Santo
With the exception of children under the age of 12 (i.e. up to and including 11), travellers to Madeira and Porto Santo must:
- Complete and submit a traveller questionnaire. If you are travelling with a child aged 11 or under, include their details in your questionnaire
- if you have one, download your NHS COVID Pass or EU digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing you have been fully vaccinated with an EU approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel, or
- obtain a COVID-19 recovery certificate. See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 status’ below, or
- take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before departure and upload the negative test result to the traveller questionnaire
Your airline may deny boarding if you cannot show one of these documents when you check-in for your flight. Check with your airline before you travel.
On arrival in Madeira and Porto Santo
You will be subject to health screening on arrival. You will be asked to show:
- your COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate; or
- your RT-PCR COVID-19 negative test certificate if you have not uploaded it to your passenger questionnaire
If you are unable to show one of these certificates, you will have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival and remain at your accommodation until the results are known. This will take about 12 hours.
If your test is positive or inconclusive, you will have to repeat the test until the result is negative and remain in isolation at your accommodation.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status for entry to Madeira and Porto Santo
If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days, or have had both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to travel, you will be exempt from showing a RT-PCR test on entry to Madeira and Porto Santo.
The authorities in Madeira and Porto Santo will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. 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.
Check the Madeira Tourist Board’s information for visitors for full details of entry requirements
Entering the Azores
Before you travel to the Azores
All travellers, including children, must complete and submit a passenger questionnaire.
On arrival in the Azores
With the exception of children under the age of 12 (up to and including 11), all travellers must:
- take an RT-PCR test, or
- show a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, or
- show their EU digital vaccination or recovery certificate
Check the regional government’s website for full details of entry requirements.
Regular entry requirements
Should you meet the criteria of the current COVID-19 restrictions, you should be aware that the rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- if you are travelling to Portugal and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
- to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Portuguese government’s entry requirements. Check the Portuguese Immigration Service (scroll to the bottom of the page) and check with the Portuguese Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit you may need.
- if you stay in Portugal with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit
Any time spent in Portugal or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
At Portuguese border control, you will need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Portugal. If you are resident in Portugal, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Portugal guide.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.
Make sure your passport is:
- valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Portugal, or any other Schengen country
- less than 10 years old
The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.
Travelling with children
Portuguese Border Control (SEF) advise that a child under the age of 18 who are travelling to Portugal alone or without a parent or legal guardian should either:
be met at the airport or point of entry by their parent or guardian, or
carry a letter of authorisation to travel from their parent or guardian. The letter should name the adult in Portugal who will be responsible for them during their stay. There is no legal requirement for the letter to be notarised. However, the onus is on the parent or legal guardian to provide reasonable evidence, including contact details, to confirm that adequate care arrangements are in place.
Resident minors leaving Portugal
A child under the age of 18 who is resident in Portugal must carry a notarised letter of authority from their parent or guardian if they’re travelling out of the country alone or without a parent or legal guardian. The letter of authority can be issued by:
- one of the child’s parents (if the parents are married)
- the parent the child lives with (if the parents are separated or divorced)
- one of the adoptive parents (if the child is adopted) or
- the child’s legal guardian
Further information in English, together with a standard form of words (in Portuguese), are available on the Portuguese immigration service website
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK ETDs are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Portugal.