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Some travelers may get to skip quarantine in Portugal this summer

April 15, 2021
4 min read
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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.

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.

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Predeparture

  • 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 image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees