Portugal holidays: FCO issues update for UK travellers as Portugal air bridges expected

Portugal has started to reopen after weeks of lockdown. However, the country still has a number of strict restrictions in place. Travel is one area where measures have been implemented to limit the spread of coronavirus.


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The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has once again updated its travel advice to Portugal.

Anyone flying to mainland Portugal will now have to undergo a health screening on arrival.

“Your temperature will be checked and if it is high or you show signs of being unwell, you will be referred to the health authorities,” said the FCO.

There are separate, tougher rules in place for Portuguese-owned Madeira (an archipelago comprising four islands off the northwest coast of Africa) and the Azores (an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic).

“If you are travelling to Madeira or Porto Santo you will be subject to health screening on arrival and 14-days’ mandatory quarantine in a hotel,” explained the FCO.

“If you are resident in Madeira or Porto Santo and you can show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, carried out 72 hours prior to arrival, you will be allowed to quarantine in your own accommodation. Complete and submit this form 24-48 hours before you arrive in the archipelago.

“If you are travelling to the Azores, you will be required to:

– show proof of a negative COVID-19 test which was carried out in the last 72 hours. If you are staying for more than 7 days, you will have to repeat the test locally 6 days after the date of the first test, or

– take a test on arrival and await the results within a maximum of 48 hours in voluntary quarantine. If you are staying for more than 7 days, you will have to repeat the test after 6 days, or

– agree to 14 days’ voluntary quarantine during which you will be required to be tested for COVID-19.

“If you cannot fulfil the entry requirements, you will be required to return to your country of origin.”

The update from the FCO also covers travel around the Lisbon area.

“Travel to Lisbon airport is permitted,” states the authority.

“There are rail and bus links to Lisbon city centre from most parts of the country. Taxis are operating.

“If you are coming to Lisbon by train, check availability and buy your ticket in advance online from CP, the Portuguese railway company.” 


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The FCO continues: “You may not be able to buy a ticket at the station. Get off the train at Entrecampos or Oriente.

“If you are coming to Lisbon by bus, check availability and buy your ticket in advance online from the Rede Expressos, the Portuguese coach company.

“You may not be able to buy a ticket at the bus station or from the driver. Get off the bus at Sete Rios or Oriente.”

There are also “regular flights” operating between Portugal and the UK, details the government.

These are operated by British Airways, TAP Air Portugal, WizzAir, Ryanair and easyJet.

Travellers in Portugal must remember the use of non-surgical masks is mandatory in enclosed spaces, such as supermarkets, shops, beauty salons, schools, public services, at the airport, in taxis and on public transport.

Services now resuming, subject to strict measures on social distancing and hygiene, include: local shops, large stores and shopping centres, restaurants, cafés and bars (last orders at 11pm), museums, art galleries, monuments and buildings of historical interest, cinemas, theatres and auditoria, hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons, bingo halls and casinos.

Under plans to implement “air bridges,” Portugal, Greece and Spain are among the countries that the Government could reach agreements with soon individually, without having to discuss it with the European Union.

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