Thousands of holidaymakers were forced to scramble back to the UK after Portugal was downgraded from green to amber in the latest traffic light review.
The Atlantic country was one of the initial “green” countries, for which quarantine is not required, when international travel was given the official nod on 17 May. It joined countries including Israel, Iceland and Gibraltar.
Airlines and tour operators piled on capacity to Portugal to take advantage of a bump in demand, as holidaymakers explored its golden beaches, cobbled streets and historic cities.
However, the country fell from green to amber in the latest traffic light review on 3 June.
All amber arrivals must self-isolate for 10 days at home and take two post-arrival PCR tests.
With the change in colour band, what are the rules on travelling to Portugal this summer?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Will British holidaymakers be allowed to travel to Portugal this summer?
Yes, there is nothing to stop holidaymakers from travelling to Portugal, despite its place on the amber list. Travel is discouraged, but not illegal.
The Portuguese foreign ministry confirmed that UK holidaymakers would be welcome from Monday 17 May.
A statement read: “The options are wide for the British Tourists to visit Portugal, from any point. People from the United Kingdom have visited Portugal and celebrated our culture, traditions, landmarks, history, and enjoyed our warm hospitality for decades.
“We look forward to welcome all travellers coming from the UK.”
Will I need to take a Covid test before travel?
Yes. Visitors must present a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours of the departure of the flight. They will not need to quarantine unless they test positive for Covid-19.
Tourism minister Rita Marques recently said the country would try “at all costs to avoid quarantines and additional Covid-19 tests” for tourists, reports MailOnline.
She added that Brexit should not be an obstacle to British holidaymakers, saying: “Portugal is still identifying many issues that need special care due to Brexit but the Portugal brand is strong, particularly among the British.”
Will I need to have been vaccinated to visit Portugal?
Visitors to Portugal do not need to have been vaccinated to enter the country, but they must present a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours of the departure of the flight.
Fully vaccinated visitors to Madeira, a Portuguese island in the Atlantic, need not present a negative PCR test.
What rules and restrictions are in place in Portugal?
Measures remain in place throughout Portugal to control the spread of the virus. You are required to observe the following rules on social distancing when in public:
Keep a social distance of two metres
Use a face covering in enclosed spaces, and outdoors where a distance of 2m cannot be maintained
Wash your hands regularly
Your temperature can be taken on access to enclosed spaces, as determined by the health authorities.
In mainland Portugal, you must wear a mask while walking along promenades and in restaurants and cafés until you are seated. The use of a mask is also obligatory on entry and exit from beaches and while using shower and changing facilities. You must maintain a social distance of 1.5m from other groups on the beach and follow the access signs.
You can be fined up to €1000 (£860) if you breach the regulations.
Shops and other commercial premises, restaurants and cafés may have shorter trading hours. Leisure and cultural activities may be banned or limited to smaller groups.
In Madeira and Porto Santo, a curfew remains in place from 11pm until 5am, including weekends.
Bars and restaurants will close at 10pm. Most supermarkets, shops and cultural events will open at 50 per cent capacity.
In the Azores, measures remain in place to minimise the spread of the virus, with areas categorised on five levels of risk. The majority of areas fall under the ‘very low risk’ category, with only the parish of Rabo de Peixe categorised as ‘high risk’.
Will I need to self-isolate on return?
Yes, all travellers will need to self-isolate for 10 days on return to the UK, as well as take two post-arrival PCR tests.