Covid-19 travelling rules – Portugal/UK

Much has been written over the past days about the measures that apply to those who wish to travel from UK to Portugal and vice versa, some of which have been misleading and, in some cases, incorrect.

We, therefore, believe that many UK Tourists who wish to visit Portugal this summer may still be struggling to understand the exact measures and would like to have clear information about the current measures in force in Portugal and the UK.

Portugal has enacted laws with the objective of containing the transmission and spreading of Covid-19, with particular focus on air travelling to and from Portugal, the most recent and relevant ones being Order 6756-C/2020 on 30th June and Order 6948-A/2020 on 6th July.

Likewise, the UK has implemented their own measures which will apply to those who travel to and return from Portugal.

MEASURES APPLICABLE TO UK CITIZENS ARRIVING IN PORTUGAL

If you are thinking of coming on holidays to Portugal, you should know that Portugal allows air traffic to and from Portugal from all flights to and from EU countries (including the UK, for the time being) and Schengen Associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) with very limited measures.
There is no mandatory quarantine/self-isolation for those who fly into Portugal from any of these countries.

In fact, the only measures that must be fulfilled are the following:
1- It is mandatory to always use a mask, in the airport and inside the airplane.
2- Upon arrival at the airport, your body temperature will be checked.
3- If your body temperature is normal, you can leave the airport normally.
4- If your body temperature is high or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities at the airport (you will need to provide them your contacts and personal information) where you will be subjected to a new body temperature control and you will be required to take a Covid-19 test and to self-isolate at your accommodation until the test results are known.
5- If the Covid-19 test result is negative, you can enjoy your holidays (although you will still, of course, have to comply with the standard measures in force such as using a mask in certain areas), but if the test is positive you will need to comply with mandatory self-isolation until your flight back home or until a new Covid-19 test shows a negative result.

Please bear in mind that the above measures only apply to Portugal mainland and not to Madeira and Azores, which have separate rules in force (for more information check the following websites: http://www.visitmadeira.pt for Madeira and https://covid19.azores.gov.pt and for Azores).

MEASURES APPLICABLE WHEN ARRIVING IN THE UK FROM PORTUGAL:

Unfortunately, despite all the measures that Portugal has taken and is taking to provide a safe and clean environment, not only for those living in Portugal but also for holidaymakers in general, Portugal was not included in the UK’s air bridges list.

This means that, as determined by the UK government, those who return to the UK from Portugal will have to self-isolate for 14 days, during which time they must not leave their home.

Before your arrival in the UK, you will also need to complete an online form on https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk, where you will need to provide details regarding your stay outside of the UK. You will need to show your completed form when you arrive at the UK border control, either by printing a copy or showing it on your phone. This rule applies to both visitors and UK residents and there are no countries exempt from this rule (in other words, this is not a rule that applies only to those arriving in the UK from Portugal).

The UK government will use this information to contact you if you or someone you’ve travelled with develops COVID-19 symptoms and to check that you’re self-isolating for the first 14 days after you arrive in the UK (if applicable).

The UK has announced that it will review its air bridge list by July 27 and, hopefully, Portugal will be included by then.

Until then, it is important to note that Portugal is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of its citizens and visitors and is ready to welcome all of those who wish to visit the country and explore all it has to offer.

Article submitted by PLMJ Faro

This informative note is intended for general information and is provided as a general and abstract overview. Professional legal advice should be sought for specific cases. Its content may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the author. For further information on this topic, please contact carmen.baptistarosa@plmj.pt or rita.calafate@plmj.pt