Portugal eases rule forcing UK visitors to take costly PCR test before flight

UK visitors will no longer be required to take a PCR test to enter Portugal after the country changed its entry requirements.

Holidaymakers will still be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, but this can now be either a PCR test or an antigen test.

PCR tests need to have been taken within 72 hours of travel, while antigen tests need to have been taken within 24 hours of boarding a flight.

The Foreign Office has changed its advice for Portugal accordingly, explaining the new requirements. It now says: “With the exception of children up to the age of 2, you must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to or through Portugal.

The test can be:

“You must show your test certificate before you board your flight to Portugal. Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot show this at check-in. Check with your airline before you travel.”

Portugal was placed on the UK’s initial green list on May 17, but the country was subsequently moved on to the amber list.

This requires anyone returning to the UK to self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take PCR tests on days two and eight. (There is an option to take a test on day five and be ‘released’ early).

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The Foreign Office still doesn’t advise against non-essential travel to Portugal, which means that anyone who has a holiday booked isn’t automatically entitled to get their money back.

However, a number of travel firms have been offering flexibility around changing holidays.

TUI has said it will continue to destinations “where borders are open and FCDO advice allows travel”, which includes Portugal, but the company also allows changes to be made to bookings without charge.

Always check the Foreign Office’s Portugal travel advice before planning, booking or going on a trip.