Portugal holidays: FCDO issues update on tightened quarantine rules for UK travellers

Portugal added to England’s travel quarantine list amid pandemic

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Portugal holidays are currently off the cards under Covid restrictions in the UK. Not only is leisure travel illegal due to the ongoing national lockdown, but flights between the UK and Portugal are also suspended over concerns relating to Covid variants.

Portugal has also put strict entry requirements in place for travellers, with tighter rules now in force for those arriving into the country from the UK.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issues up-to-date travel advice for Britons.

Today it updated its travel advice page in line with the latest developments.

The FCDO explains: “From 00:01 on Sunday 7 March until 23:59 on 16 March, passengers arriving to mainland Portugal on flights originating from either the UK or Brazil, including anyone who has transited via another airport with authorised connections to Portugal, must additionally observe a 14-day quarantine period at home or in a place indicated by the Portuguese National Health Authority.”

Furthermore, travel to Portugal is limited to only certain people.

According to the FCDO only “EU and EEA nationals and their family members”, Portuguese residents or “UK and other non-EU/EEA nationals travelling for essential purposes” will be permitted to enter.

It adds: “ You will be required to show a negative RT-PCR test result for SARS/COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of departure.

“Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot provide evidence of a negative RT-PCR test at check-in. Check with your airline before you travel.”

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Similar rules are also in place for Portuguese archipelagos Madeira and Porto Santo.

“If you arrive in Madeira or Porto Santo without an RT-PCR test, you will be required to take one at the airport and await the result in government-provided accommodation,” states the FCDO.

Strict coronavirus restrictions remain in place across Portugal.

Any UK nationals currently in Portugal are advised to follow the instruction of local authorities in Portugal.

The FCDO explains: “Mainland Portugal is currently in a ‘state of emergency.’ “The Portuguese government has put in place a series of measures to control the spread of the virus, including a national lockdown.

“You are instructed to stay at home, except to buy food and other essential items; to go to work exceptionally, if your professional activity is not compatible with working from home; to go to a hospital, health centre or dental clinic; to go to a veterinary clinic or walk a pet; to carry out caring or similar duties or to take short periods of exercise outdoors (individually, not in groups).”

Despite the latest quarantine rules, however, Portugal’s minister for tourism has said Britons could be welcomed back in time for summer.

Rita Marques told the BBC: “I do believe that Portugal will soon allow restriction-free travel, not only for vaccinated people but those who are immune or who test negative.

“We hope to welcome British tourists from 17 May.”

She also stated the Covid situation in Portugal is “stable”, adding: “Everything will be ready by mid-May.”

Whether or not the UK Government will allow travel by then remains uncertain.

The Global Travel Taskforce, set to resume from April, will decide whether or not foreign travel is both safe and possible.

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