Passengers who test positive for Covid-19 at airport “must pay to self-quarantine”

Passengers who test positive for Covid-19 before boarding a flight at a Portuguese airport are responsible for managing – and ultimately paying – for their own 10-day self-quarantine.

This has been confirmed to the Resident by a source from Faro Airport.

“Travellers who test positive in the region of the Algarve will quarantine according to the applicable legislation, as well as to the instructions of the national health board (DGS) and regional health authority,” the source said.

“If the test is done at the airport and the result is positive, the same rules apply. The regional health authority and DGS are informed via the SINAVE system, as determined in Portugal. The health delegate coordinates with security forces.

“Accommodation during the quarantine is the responsibility of the passenger or any other entity that comes forth to cover it,” the source added.

Portuguese State television RTP reported last month that every day there were two or three cases of tourists barred from returning home due to positive test results. But it was unclear what happened to them and how they were supposed to self-quarantine when they presumably had checked out of their hotel or holiday accommodation.

A 22-year-old French student on holiday in the Algarve, named only as ‘Marie’, was one of the cases reported.

After getting no help from either the French or Portuguese embassies, she said she was lucky enough to meet two social assistants who took her to Loulé where a room in a community building was set aside for her.

But this is unlikely to be the case for everyone, and tourists who travel to Portugal now know that they are at risk of having to quarantine for 10 days at their own expense if they test positive while trying to board a flight back home.

The costs can also be covered by certain travel insurances that provide Covid-related cover, including quarantine costs.