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Portugal Reopens to U.S. Visitors

By Michelle Baran

Jun 15, 2021

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COVID-tested U.S. travelers can now head to Lisbon.

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COVID-tested U.S. travelers can now head to Lisbon.

As of June 15, anyone from the United States can travel to Portugal if they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test.

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It’s been a long 15 months for U.S. travelers eager to visit Portugal, but now the wait is over. Portugal on Tuesday reopened to all COVID-tested travelers from the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Portugal reports.

“Beginning June 15, non-essential (i.e., tourist travel) from the United States to mainland Portugal is permitted for travelers with proof of a negative COVID-19 test,” the embassy says in its latest update

One week ago, Reuters reported that Portugal was preparing to open to vaccinated U.S. travelers, but there is no COVID-19 vaccine requirement for travel to Portugal from the U.S. at this time. Instead, all passengers entering Portugal, except for children age 24 months and younger, must simply provide proof of a negative, lab-generated COVID-19 test result. It either needs to be a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as a PCR test, performed within 72 hours of boarding, or a rapid antigen test performed within 24 hours of boarding. 

No additional testing or quarantine will be required for mainland Portugal.

Airlines and cruise lines are being asked to confirm the test results prior to allowing passengers to board flights or ships heading for Portugal.

Travelers should complete a Passenger Locator Card within 48 hours of traveling to Portugal.

The current measure is in place until June 27 when it will be reviewed; the rule will be revisited every two weeks after that and must be renewed to remain in place.

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The number of COVID cases in Portugal has been on the decline—in the last month, Portugal reported 16,200 COVID cases, down from a high of nearly 307,000 cases in January, according to Johns Hopkins University. To date, 23 percent of Portugal’s residents are fully vaccinated, Johns Hopkins reports.

Consequently, Portugal has begun to relax some of its COVID-19 restrictions. As of June 14, restaurants, cafés, and patisseries are allowed to welcome up to 6 people inside or 10 people outside and can stay open until 1 a.m. Public transportation can operate at two-thirds capacity. Concert halls can welcome up to 50 percent capacity and remain open until midnight.

Visit Portugal, the country’s destination marketing arm, reminds travelers that face masks are still mandatory in Portugal, that alcohol consumption in public spaces is banned (alcohol can be served and consumed in restaurants and on terraces), and that some businesses and tourist attractions may continue to have limited capacity or hours (such as shopping centers).

U.S. travelers who want to visit the Portuguese islands of the Azores or Madeira should be aware that they both have their own rules for entry. To enter the Azores, a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure is required, including for domestic flights, for passengers age 12 and older. Arrivals can also show proof of recovery or test upon arrival and quarantine until they received their results. Those who want to stay in the Azores for more than seven days will need to test again on the sixth day.

Those heading to Madeira, including on a domestic flight, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure, proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19, or proof of recovery from COVID-19.

CDC Approves At-Home COVID Tests for International Travel

All international passengers age two and older flying into the U.S. (including returning U.S. citizens and permanent residents) must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test procured within three days before boarding their flight to the U.S.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Portugal, COVID-19 antigen and PCR tests with results ready within 72 hours are available in Portugal. The embassy refers travelers to the Portuguese health department for additional information regarding COVID-19 testing locations.

>> Next: AFAR’s Ultimate Guide to Lisbon

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