COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated: August 26, 2021

***COVID-19 Testing required for all passengers boarding flights for the United States: TESTING REQUIREMENT. Please see US entry requirements for more details.

Country Specific Information

Non-essential travel to Portugal is PERMITTED. Non-essential travel (i.e., tourist travel) from the United States to Portugal is currently permitted for travelers with proof of a negative COVID-19 test (see below for testing details). Though tourist travel is permitted by Portugal, US Embassy Lisbon advises against all non-essential travel.

Mandatory Quarantines and Testing Requirements in effect. Attempts to exit customs or board a flight with a positive COVID test will result in a ten-day quarantine at the traveler’s expense. U.S. citizens using the same day testing option at the airport and receiving a positive COVID test result will be detained, sometimes for hours, until transportation and quarantine accommodation can be arranged at the traveler’s expense.  For this reason, we strongly discourage same day testing at the airport.

Azores and Madeira may have different requirements than mainland Portugal. Please consult the specific sections below for additional requirements in effect for these autonomous regions.

Testing Requirements for Passengers Boarding Flights*
Entering Portugal Entering the US
  1. Testing Requirement:
    • EU Digital Vaccination Certificate, or
    • NAAT test within 72 hours. A negative SARSCoV-2 lab result of a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), for example a PCR test, performed at least 72 hours before boarding, or
    • TRAg test within 48 hours. A rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 48 hours of boarding
  2. Passenger Locator Card must be completed and submitted. (Different airlines require completion of form before take-off. We advise completing and printing prior to scheduled travel)
  1. Testing Requirement:
    • Negative test within 72 hours. A negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel, or
    • Provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.
  2. Attestation confirming one of the two options above is true.
Quarantine Requirements
Travelers who test positive for COVID can be required to quarantine for up to 10 days. Due to increased instances of mandatory detention by health authorities, we do not recommend same day airport testing.
Accommodation Requirements*
Proof of vaccination or Negative COVID Test required: Hotels, Guesthouses, and private vacation rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). One of the following is now required upon check-in:

  • Mandatory submission of an EU Digital Vaccination Certificate or
  • A negative COVID test result (PCR 72 hours; antigen 48 hours; rapid test before health official 24 hours) or
  • A rapid test immediately on arrival in front of an employee at offering hotels.

*Please Note: Requirements change rapidly. It is your responsibility to confirm requirements with your airline, accommodations, and other events/activities before travel.

Quarantine Information – Important Updates

Can U.S. citizens be required to quarantine? Yes. Travelers are not able to board an outbound flight from Portugal to the United States without a negative COVID test.  Under the State of Contingency, the Portuguese Government can impose mandatory quarantine for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and individuals deemed by health officials to require special medical observation. Attempting to cross immigration or board a plane with a positive COVID test will result in a 10-day quarantine.

  • Rapid Tests at Airports strongly discouraged. We have seen increased instances of travelers attempting to complete a rapid test at the airport, only to receive a positive test result and be detained, sometimes for hours, and forced to quarantine for the mandatory 10 days at the traveler’s expense.
  • Positive Tests from Vaccinated Persons: There have also been several instances of positive tests from vaccinated individuals. Despite being asymptomatic, individuals have been forced to take an ambulance to quarantine facilities to wait the required 10 days, at the traveler’s expense.
  • Breakthrough Cases: There have also been several instances of breakthrough cases. Vaccinated individuals should remain vigilant and ensure that they adhere to all COVID restrictions and health guidelines.
  • U.S. Embassy Lisbon is unable to help travelers avoid or shorten government-mandated quarantine.

Entry and Exit Requirements: PORTUGAL

Testing Requirements: All authorized travelers arriving from the United States, except for children under 12 years old must submit one of the following.

  • A EU Digital Vaccination Certificate
  • A negative SARSCoV-2 lab result of a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), for example a PCR test, performed in the last 72 hours or
  • A negative rapid antigen test (TRAg) performed within 48 hours of boarding

***Passengers without a negative test result may be subject to mandatory testing at the airport at their own expense upon arrival, in addition to a mandatory quarantine by Portuguese health authorities.

US Citizens: Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter Portugal? Yes, however US Embassy Lisbon advises against all non-essential travel. Current regulations allow U.S. citizens to travel directly from the United States to Portugal for non-essential travel (i.e. tourism) with proof of an accepted COVID-19 test.

  1. Expired Portuguese document validity was extended until December 31, 2021. This extended validity period applies to Portuguese-issued, citizen cards (cartão de cidadão), residency documents and visa permits, etc. for lawful stays or residency in Portugal.
    • Please note that this extended validity of visas and other documentation is contingent upon submission of a request for an appointment with SEF.
    • For more information and guidance, contact the nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate or the Portuguese immigration authorities at pt
  1. Travelers holding a residency permit or possessing a residency visa issued by the Portuguese authorities, or legal residents of an EU country or family members of an EU citizen, are also allowed to enter or transit Portugal for non-essential travel. Essential travel as determined by Portuguese authorities is currently permitted such as for professional purposes, study, family reunification, medical, or humanitarian travel.
    • Some non-essential travel (tourist travel) from the European Union, from Schengen-associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland), and from the U.K. is also allowed.
    • Long-term visa holders, such as students, may be permitted, but travelers should contact the nearest Portuguese Embassy or Consulate to confirm that their visa permits entry.
    • Borders: Land borders between Portugal and Spain are open (with testing restrictions).

Important Entry Information: Permission for entering Portugal is the sole responsibility of the Portuguese Government. As part of the admission process prior to boarding flights and at the border, travelers must present written evidence or the appropriate visa permitting entry to Portugal.    Please note that Portuguese Immigration (SEF) does not review evidence and does not make any determination about admission prior to the travelers’ arrival at the border control.

Entry and Exit Requirements: UNITED STATES

Testing Requirements: All airline passengers to the United States, including U.S. citizens, ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Travelers must also present an attestation confirming one of the two options is true. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

US Citizens and LPRs: US citizens and Lawfully Permanent Residents (LPRs) are permitted to return to the United States from Portugal.  See the DHS website for further details.

Noncitizens: COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions apply. Ongoing suspended entry rules are in effect for all noncitizens who were physically present in any of 33 countries (to include Schengen Area countries) during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Please see the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions page for more details pertaining to National Interest Exceptions and other exemptions.

Returning on an Expired U.S. Passport: If you are overseas and your passport expired on or after January 1, 2020, you may be able to use your expired passport to return directly to the United States until December 31, 2021. You may qualify for this exception if all the following are true:

  • You are a U.S. citizen.
  • You are currently abroad seeking direct return to the United States.
  • You are flying directly to the United States, a United States territory, or have only short-term transit (“connecting flights”) through a foreign country on your direct return to the United States or to a United States Territory.
  • Obtaining a fall validity passport as soon as possible is still recommended

Please read https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html for more information.

Accommodation Requirements

Hotels, Guesthouses, and private vacation rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.): Mandatory submission of an EU Digital Vaccination Certificate or a negative COVID test result (PCR 72 hours; antigen 48 hours; rapid test before health official 24 hours; or a rapid test immediately on arrival in front of an employee) is now required upon check-in.

Country Opening Status

Portugal is in a countrywide State of Contingency. Under the State of Contingency, the Portuguese Government can impose obligatory quarantine for individuals infected with COVID-19 and individuals deemed by health officials to require special medical observation. The Government of Portugal announced a phased deconfinement plan for the gradual lifting of restrictions based on the overall vaccination rate in Portugal. The plan, implemented in three phases, is in Phase 2.

Phase 2: Beginning August 23 (Provided Portugal achieves a >70% vaccination rate)

  • Restaurants, bars, cafés, and cultural events/shows continue to function under normal hours (bar a 2am limit), with seating limitations expanded to groups of 8 indoors (instead of 6) and groups of 15 outdoors (instead of 10)
  • Cultural events/shows now at 75% capacity
  • Weddings, christenings, and similar celebrations now at 75% capacity
  • Elimination of capacity restrictions on public transport (including taxis and Ubers)
  • Increased max capacity at commercial/retail spaces (from 5 to 8 people per 100m2)

Safety Measures

  • Masks:
    • Indoors: Mandatory. Masks are mandatory for all indoors occasions.
    • Outdoors: Protective masks are recommended when social distancing is not possible, such as events, school playgrounds, and for vulnerable citizens.
  • Distancing: Social Distancing measures enforced, to include mandatory use of protective masks in closed public spaces.
  • Curfews: Is a curfew in place? No.
  • Quarantine: Mandatory quarantine for illnesses, those under active observation, and those suspected of being infected with COVID-19.
  • Workplace: Protective masks are mandatory inside workplaces.
  • Telework: Telework still recommended, when possible.

Violations / Compliance Information:

  • Non-compliance with restrictions and measures can be punishable with fines and /or prosecution for “disobedience”
  • Failure to present a COVID-19 test at the airport upon arrival in Portugal is a violation resulting in fines from 300€ to 800€
  • Portuguese authorities will enforce this requirement.

COVID Opening Status/Info

Vaccine/Testing Requirements: A digital vaccine certificate or a negative COVID 19 test is required on air and sea travel, group gym glasses, spas/thermal baths, casinos and bingo halls, cultural, sporting, and corporate events with >1000 pax outdoors, or >500 pax indoors, and weddings/christenings with >10 pax.

Alcoholic beverages cannot be sold in gas stations all day. Alcohol sales for takeaway or delivery are prohibited between 9PM and 6AM. Public consumption of alcoholic beverages is forbidden except inside restaurants and with meals.

Venue Specific

  • Cafés and Restaurants: limited to groups of 8 inside and 15 outside, are permitted to be open until 2am during the week and weekends.
    • Note – For indoor dining after 7pm on Fridays, on weekends, and on holidays the same mandatory submission of an EU Digital Vaccination Certificate or a negative COVID test result (PCR 72 hours; rapid antigen 48 hours; rapid test before health official 24 hours; or a rapid test immediately on arrival in front of an employee) is now required for admission.
  • Schools: In-person classes open for all schools and universities.
  • Museums, conference, and cultural centers: Open to the public.
  • Grocery stores and supermarkets: Operating at regular business hours.
  • Public Services: Lojas do Cidadão Open for in-person services by appointment only.
    • NOTE: Effective September 1, 2021: Public services without prior appointment.
  • Stores and shopping centers: normal business hours resume.
  • Sports: Spectators at sporting events must be in accordance with DGS rules and regulations.
  • Gymnasiums: Fully open and in accordance with DGS health and safety regulations
  • Cultural events: Open to the public with 75% capacity.
  • Events: Large outdoor and indoor events resume at reduced capacity as determined by health authorities.
  • Hairdressers, manicurists, and barbers: Open by appointment only.
  • Weddings and baptisms: Permitted at 75% capacity.
  • Sport facilities operating in accordance with rules determined by DGS.
  • Beaches: Mandatory use of masks at access points to and while moving on the beach (sand). Masking is not required when stationary on your towel. Mandatory social distance of 1.5m between towels.

Consular Operations

Due to the COVID-19 situation in Portugal and for the health and safety of the public and our personnel, routine consular services have been significantly reduced.

  • American Citizen Services are being offered online for most routine services. Please visit our website at pt.usembassy.gov for more information.
    • Emergency: If you have an emergency, contact the American Citizen Services Unit at conslisbon@state.gov
  • Visa Services have been significantly reduced. Please visit our website at pt.usembassy.gov for more information related to visa services and travel restrictions.
    • Urgent: If you have an urgent life and death situation requiring travel, contact the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit at visaslisbon@state.gov

Testing Information

Please use an Authorized Laboratory for all testing requirements.

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Portugal? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to CDC’s requirements please visit the Entry Requirements site
    • Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity. To submit information in support of an exemption, email LisbonCDCWaivers@state.gov.
  • For the nearest testing facilities and collection consult Portuguese health authorities (SNS) using the Portuguese COVID-19 Health Hotlines:
    • Mainland Portugal – (+ 351) 808 24 24 24 (Press 9 for English)
    • Azores – (+351) 808 24 60 24
    • Madeira – (+351) 800 24 24 20

Vaccine Information

Air Travel

Purchasing Airline Tickets:  Some airlines continue to sell tickets for travel between the United States and Portugal. Embassy Lisbon strongly encourages prospective travelers to contact the nearest Portuguese Embassy for confirmation of their eligibility to travel to Portugal, before purchasing tickets.

  • Confirm Entry Eligibility: Please confirm your eligibility to enter or transit Portugal with the Portuguese Embassy/Consulate and/or airline
  • Confirm Return Eligibility: Entry and exit requirements between the US and Portugal differ. Citizens who live in the United States and wish to return should do so through the commercial flight options that currently exist. The U.S. Government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from Portugal.
  • Review Policies: Review the airline’s policy on refunds before purchasing tickets.
  • Be Aware: Suspension of flights, mandatory confinement, and other additional measures may occur with little or no warning. Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

Azores Specific

  • Passengers aged 12 and older arriving to the Azores, even on domestic flights from outside the Azores, must either show their EU digital Covid certificate (other proof of vaccination, such as a white CDC card, is not acceptable at this time), provide proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure or proof of recovery from the disease, or must test upon arrival and remain in isolation until the results are known. To speed the process on arrival, the Regional Government of the Azores suggests travelers complete a health questionnaire at least 72 hours before disembarking.  Note:  Rapid Antigen tests, antibody tests, and NAAT Molecular tests are NOT acceptable
  • Tests for travel to the United States are readily available at labs and pharmacies in the Azores on Monday – Friday.  Please note that testing is not available/extremely limited on weekends.  Those travelling to the United States on the weekend or on Monday should account for the lack of testing on weekends when making plans.
  • For more information on testing and other requirements, visit: Covid19Azores. For more information on entry requirements, visit: SEF Covid 19 FAQS.

Madeira Specific

  • Anyone arriving to Madeira, even on domestic flights from outside Madeira, must either provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to departure or provide proof of vaccination or recovery from the disease. To speed the process on arrival, the Regional Government of Madeira suggests travelers complete a health questionnaire between 48 and 12 hours prior to disembarking.
  • For more information on testing and other requirements, visit Covid19Madeira. For more information on entry requirements, visit: SEF Covid 19 FAQS

Local Resources

Other Links

Assistance

U.S. Embassy Lisbon, Portugal
(+351) 21-727-3300
conslisbon@state.gov