Some travelers may get to skip quarantine in Portugal this summer

Apr 15, 2021

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Portugal is trying to rebuild its tourism sector, and wants visitors to be able to avoid having to quarantine this summer.

The country’s secretary of state for tourism said on Wednesday that Portugal would try “at all costs to avoid quarantines and additional COVID-19 tests” for international arrivals if the European Union’s Digital Green Certificate proposal moves forward, Reuters reported.

That means British travelers could vacation this summer in Portugal without needing to test or quarantine if they meet certain requirements. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if this agreement would include American travelers.

In This Post

What to know about visiting Portugal

Elevador da Gloria in Lisbon. (Photo by Westend61 / Getty Images)

People who reside in the European Union, including U.S. citizens who are lawful residents of EU member states, can visit Portugal for essential travel. But Portugal is still not open to most Americans, according to the U.S. Embassy in Portugal.

Most of the EU is still closed to Americans and will likely remain that way until the total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. falls.

At this time, travelers going to Portugal for essential reasons must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours and at the airport. Travelers also face a health screening and must self-quarantine for 14 days. Masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces and outside when social distancing isn’t possible.

Portugal earlier this year implemented a lockdown and banned all nonessential international travel for its own citizens amid rising COVID-19 cases. And on April 15, Portugal extended its state of emergency for an additional 15 days.

Related: Americans can now visit over 90 countries and territories — here’s the complete list

What you need to visit Portugal

The U.S. State Department laid out the following guidelines and requirements for tourists.


  • Travelers arriving from the United States must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours before boarding and at the airport.

Upon arrival

  • Passengers without a negative test result will be subject to mandatory testing at the airport and mandatory quarantine.
  • Failure to present a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival in Portugal is a violation resulting in fines from $360 to $960.

Getting to Portugal

It may be getting tougher to find cheap flights these days, but we’re spotting some deals between major cities in the U.S. and Lisbon (LIS) for under $400. Most of the deals are for flights departing from the East Coast and Chicago and are available on Star Alliance airlines such as Air Canada, Swiss, Lufthansa and United.

Screenshot from Google

Using United MileagePlus miles is also an option, with awards in economy starting at just 30,000 miles each way.

(Screenshot from United)

Related: The best websites for searching Star Alliance award availability

Things to know while in Portugal

(Photo by Elena Ara Oliver / Getty Images)

While in Portugal, all people (visitors and residents) are required to:

  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Wear a mask

As of April 19, the following activities will open, according to Visit Portugal:

  • Cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and concert halls
  • All shops and shopping centers
  • Restaurants, cafes and bakeries will be open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends and public holidays. Groups of four people are allowed inside or six people on terraces
  • Physical activity and outdoor training up to six people
  • Outdoor events allowed with reduced attendance

As of May 3, the following activities will open:

  • Restaurants can open with no time limit, and groups of six people are allowed inside or 10 people on terraces.
  • Large outdoor and indoor events allowed with reduced occupancy.

Related: Reopening guide: country-by-country

Featured photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images

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