Travel: Simon Calder says Portugal is ‘looking good’
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Though Portugal has prolonged some of its “air traffic restrictions” due to the varying nature of the coronavirus pandemic around the world, it has lifted some restrictions for UK arrivals. The latest changes mean Britons can travel to Portugal if they are visiting for some “essential purposes”.
A press release issued by the Portuguese government explained: “The suspension of flights with origin or destination in Brazil and the United Kingdom is lifted, only for essential trips – similarly to what already happened with flights from third countries.”
This latest change came into force on April 16.
Since then, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice page.
The latest change encompasses the “entry requirements” for UK travellers who need to make journeys to Portugal.
The FCDO explains: “You can travel to Portugal and the Azores if you are resident and returning home.
“f you are travelling from the UK or any other non-EU/EEA country, or
an EU/EEA country where the COVID-19 incidence rate is 150 cases or more per 100,000 inhabitants you can only enter for essential purposes, such as to live with immediate family members, or for professional, educational, health or humanitarian reasons.”
Whether travellers are entering Portugal for essential reasons or as a resident, they are advised to “be prepared to show evidence” of the reason for their journey.
This will likely be required by the airline and immigration officers upon landing.
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Travellers will also need to meet testing regulations in place.
“All passengers, excluding children up to the age of two, travelling to Portugal must show a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 at the time of boarding. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of departure,” states the FCDO.
“Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot provide this at check-in.
“Check with your airline before you travel.”
Those travelling from the UK are warned not to use the NHS testing service in order to facilitate travel to another country.
“You should arrange to take a private test,” advises the FCDO.
“Make sure you have a RT-PCR COVID-19 nasal swab test. 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.”
Some quarantine rules are also in place.
“If you are travelling from South Africa, Brazil or an EU member state where the COVID-19 incidence rate exceeds 500 per 100,000 inhabitants, or your journey originated in South Africa or Brazil, or you have been in South Africa or Brazil in the last 14 days, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival,” explains the FCDO.
More detailed information on the quarantine rules in place are available on the Portuguese Immigration Service website.
“You will be exempt from the need to self-isolate if you are travelling to Portugal to participate in an international sporting event, or the purpose of your journey is essential and your stay in Portugal does not exceed 48 hours,” states the travel advice page.
“You will have to show evidence of your return trip.
“If you are in direct airside transit through Portugal, you do not need a COVID-19 test for Portugal.”
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