Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for mainland Portugal, Madeira and the Azores on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you enter Portugal.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 pre-departure and arrival tests and for checking when you book that the testing service can provide the appropriate COVID-19 tests.

In Portugal, any pre-departure test you may need has to be booked in advance and paid for in full. You will not need a prescription, but you will have to show your passport and confirmed travel bookings. It can take up to 24 hours for the results to be returned. You can schedule a test at any private clinic. Find one near you from this list of approved facilities.

If you are staying in the Algarve, find a clinic near you on the Algarve tourist authority’s website.

If you are travelling to Madeira or Porto Santo, schedule a COVID-19 test at one of the facilities approved by the Madeira Health authority.

If you are travelling to the Azores, book your return COVID-19 test at a clinic on the island where you are staying. Ask your hotel or local tourist office for help in finding a clinic closest to you.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in Portugal, you will have to self-isolate. The public health authorities will give you guidance on when you can stop self-isolating. In these circumstances, make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

If you need medical advice while you are in isolation, you should contact one of the helplines listed in the section below on Healthcare in Portugal or 112 in an emergency.

Travel in Portugal

You should follow the advice of the Portuguese authorities on how best to protect yourself and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. Social distancing measures and other safety precautions are still in force:

  • Keep a social distance of 1.5 metres
  • Use a face mask in enclosed public spaces and outdoors where social distancing of 1.5 m cannot be maintained
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • follow any safety measures put in place by hotels, restaurants, bars and shops to reduce the risk of infection

Travel between Madeira and Porto Santo

Check the requirements on the Madeira Islands official website.

Inter-island travel in the Azores

Check the requirements on the Visit Azores official website.

Public spaces and services

Mainland Portugal

Mainland Portugal is in a state of alert. Most restrictive measures have been lifted, but on entry to medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes you will still need to show either a vaccination certificate showing you had a booster vaccine at least 14 days before visiting one of these facilities, or a negative COVID-19 test, or a recovery certificate.

These requirements do not apply to children aged 11 and under.

Using your NHS COVID Pass to visit medical facilities, nursing and retirement homes

Portugal will accept your NHS COVID Pass (digital or paper version) as proof of vaccination or recovery for visiting medical facilities, nursing and retirement homes provided:

  • your vaccination certificate shows you had an EU approved booster vaccine at least 14 days before your visit, or
  • your recovery certificate shows you have recovered from COVID-19 at least 11 days and no more than 180 days ago before your visit.

Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

COVID-19 tests for accessing medical facilities, retirement and nursing homes

If you are required to show a negative COVID-19 test to access a medical facility, retirement or nursing home, you will need to take one of the following tests and ensure you obtain a certificate confirming the result:

  • Certified PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours
  • Certified antigen test taken within the previous 24 hours
  • Rapid antigen self-test done within the previous 24 hours in the presence of a health or pharmaceutical professional and certified by the same professional

Keep up-to-date with the restrictions in place on the Visit Portugal website.

Face coverings

You must wear a face mask in enclosed spaces. You should wear your face covering when you enter the building and keep it on until you leave. In cafes and restaurants, keep your mask on until you are seated. In mainland Portugal and in the autonomous region of the Azores, you are also advised to wear a face mask outdoors where it is not possible to maintain a 1.5 m social distance from other members of the public. In the autonomous region of Madeira, the use of a mask outdoors is obligatory where social distancing is not possible.

These measures apply to everyone aged 10 and over on mainland Portugal and in the Azores, and aged 6 and over in Madeira and Porto Santo.

You can be fined if you breach the regulations.

Exemptions from wearing a face covering differ in Portugal compared to the UK. You may be exempt from using a face mask both indoors and out on medical grounds. You will have to show a declaration from your doctor as evidence that you have a health condition that prevents you from wearing a face covering. You should observe strict social distancing and limit the time you spend in common areas in enclosed spaces. For further information (in Portuguese) on exemptions, see decree-law 62-A/2020 (Article 3(2).

Accommodation

Check any accommodation you book meets the required hygiene and cleaning standards and look out for the Portuguese Tourist Board’s “clean and safe” certification.

Autonomous Regions of Madeira and the Azores

You should follow the advice of the regional authorities on how best to protect yourself and others. Restrictions remain are force. These are different to the mainland.

Madeira and Porto Santo

Madeira is in a state of contingency. Measures in place include the requirement to show you are fully or partially vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 on entry to retirement and nursing homes, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, cultural, social, sporting and recreational events.

If you are unvaccinated, you will have to show a negative antigen test, which must be renewed weekly.

These measures do not apply to children aged 4 and under. The measures also do not apply to those who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated. In this case, you will need to show a formal declaration from your doctor confirming that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Keep up-to-date with the restrictions in force in Madeira and Porto Santo on the Madeira Islands official website (check under “Useful Info”).

The Azores

The archipelago of the Azores is in a state of contingency. Restrictive measures include:

  • a ban on Carnival celebrations and gatherings between 25 February and 1 March
  • the requirement to show a negative PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours prior to use) or a rapid lateral flow test (taken no more than 24 hours prior to use), to attend cultural, sporting and social events and to enter bars and nightclubs. If you have a valid EU vaccination or recovery certificate, or your EU certificate shows you had a booster vaccine at least 14 days ago, you will be exempt from testing.

On the islands of São Miguel, Terceira, Faial, Pico and São Jorge, you will have to show a negative COVID-19 test as described above, even if you have an EU vaccination or recovery certificate, or have had a booster vaccine, to attend cultural, sporting and social events and to enter bars and nightclubs.

Keep up-to-date with the restrictions in place on Visit Azores website.

Healthcare in Portugal

If you need emergency medical assistance, call 112 and ask for an ambulance.

If you are feeling unwell, but it’s not an emergency, call:

  • Mainland Portugal: (+351) 808 24 24 24, press 9 for English
  • Madeira and Porto Santo: (+351) 800 24 24 20
  • Azores:(+351) 808 24 60 24

COVID-19 testing is carried out free-of-charge if you are referred by a Portuguese national health service doctor.

If you need a COVID-19 test in order to travel, you should arrange to take a private test. See ‘Returning to the UK’.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Portugal.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Portugal

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Portuguese government announces any new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Portuguese national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines. British nationals resident in Portugal who have a permanent or temporary healthcare user’s number are eligible for vaccination.

If you live in mainland Portugal and you have not yet had a COVID-19 vaccination, you can take a digital ticket and arrange to be vaccinated now at a vaccination centre near you. If you do not have a healthcare user’s number, apply for a temporary one using this form or ask your health centre to register you for healthcare. You will need a Portuguese mobile number for this purpose.

COVID-19 Boosters and Seasonal Flu Vaccine

The Portuguese authorities have initiated their booster and seasonal flu vaccine programme. They are inviting members of the public who received the last dose of their COVID-19 vaccine at least 150 days ago or who had the Janssen vaccine, to come forward in groups according to their age. Keep up-to-date with the programme on the health authority’s website and book to go to a vaccination centre near you when your age group is reached. Certain age groups may not need to book an appointment. Check on the health authority’s website whether this applies to you. When you go for your booster, take your passport or other form of identification, your healthcare user’s number and/or your COVID vaccination card.

The Portuguese authorities have also started to vaccinate children aged between 5 and 11. The dates on which you can book for your child to be vaccinated will be announced on the health authority’s website.

If you live in Madeira, and have not yet had a COVID-19 vaccination, go to a vaccination centre and ask to be vaccinated now. If you have any questions, call the health authorities on 800 210 263 or send an email to vacinacao@sesaram.pt. If you have already been vaccinated, check whether you are eligible for a booster. If you live in the Azores and you have not yet been vaccinated, use this form to register for the vaccine.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Portugal, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

If you have received your COVID-19 vaccination in Portugal, you can get an EU Digital COVID Certificate from the health authorities. Remember to download or print your certificate again after you have had the booster vaccine. For further information, visit the European Commission’s EU Digital COVID Certificate page.

Help and support

While you are in Portugal, your safety and security is the responsibility of the Portuguese authorities. You should follow their advice and comply with the measures they have put in place.

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.