The Portuguese government has decided to reintroduce COVID test requirements for international travellers, coinciding with a new “State of Calamity” coming into effect from today (1 December).
Until now, fully vaccinated and recovered travellers holding an EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate or equivalent document have not required a COVID test. However, in response to concerns about the newly detected COVID variant Omicron, Portuguese authorities will now require passengers arriving from all countries, including the UK and EU, to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test.
In an official statement, the Portuguese authorities advised that, from 1 December, there would be “a mandatory negative test for all flights arriving in Portugal, even for those who have a digital vaccination certificate, regardless of the point of origin of the flight or the passenger’s nationality”.
For British travellers, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office warns that entry restrictions and requirements “may change with little warning”.
Currently, the office’s travel website GOV.UK advises:-
“You must complete an online passenger locator card and be prepared to show a negative COVID-19 test result certificate (except children aged 11 or under).
Your test certificate should meet the following criteria:
- An antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure, or a RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. If you have an antigen test, make sure it meets the standards set out in the EU common list of Rapid Antigen Tests.
- Check your test result identifies the type of test taken and gives your name, date of birth, the date and time the sample was collected, and the date of the result.
- You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.”