Portugal dropped its COVID-19 restrictions and the timing is perfect for some travelers

Jul 5, 2022

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Authorities in Portugal just dropped all COVID-19 entry restrictions, offering a viable option for travelers worried about ongoing airline strike action in other hot spots including Spain.

“As of July 1, 2022, passengers entering national territory are no longer required to present proof of carrying out a test to screen for SARS-CoV-2 infection with a negative result or to present a COVID-EU digital certificate or vaccination or recovery certificate issued by third countries, accepted or recognized in Portugal,” read a statement from the government.

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From January 2020 to this month, there have been 5,171,236 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 24,149 deaths across Portugal. Now the restrictions are no more.

The drop of restrictions takes effect from the mainland cities right down to the Algarve and onto the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo (some requirements remain for those heading to the Azores).

This is not only a boost for summer tourism but will also, with any luck, speed up the entry process at passport control.

Beach in Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Faro district, Algarve, Portugal
Tourists sunbathing on Praia do Camilo in Lagos, Portugal. (Photo by Marco Bottigelli/Getty Images)

The easing of COVID-19 rules in Portugal could be music to the ears of travelers whose trips to Spain are in turmoil due to ongoing strikes.

Many airlines currently unaffected by strike action cater to this popular beach destination. This could be an ideal last-minute vacation swap for sun-starved travelers.

While Portugal’s Ryanair crew did join the picket line alongside those in Belgium and Italy briefly last week, the levels of disruption in Spain are on another level right now.

Following last week’s first round of summer strikes, Ryanair crews in Spain have planned more walkouts in July across all 10 airports that Ryanair operates from in the country. This will affect every beach destination from Malaga to Ibiza.

Related: British Airways cancels 650 flights from UK to Europe this July

These strikes will take place July 12-15, July 18-21 and July 25-28.

Meanwhile, easyJet staff members are also going on strike. Walkouts are set to happen July 15-17 and July 29-31 nationwide.

Have you booked a flight to Spain with either of these low-cost airlines on said dates? Or do you simply not want to chance it with British Airways following news the United Kingdom’s flagship carrier is to cut 650 additional flights from Heathrow Airport (LHR) and London Gatwick Airport (LGW)? Perhaps the Algarve is calling.

Lisbon, Portugal.
Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images)

Whatever you decide on, always have a plan B. Here’s a guide to the worst of the planned action in Europe.

Related: Travel may be disrupted in Europe this summer on these dates, so plan accordingly

If you do end up on the receiving end of a last-minute cancellation, take note of what to do. In other words, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Featured photo by James O’Neil/Getty Images.

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