Is the Algarve on the green list? What the rule changes mean for Portugal


The beautiful beaches of the Algarve are incredible for a family vacation this time of year, or the winding streets of Coimbra and the bustling energy of Lisbon, but travelers to Portugal should make sure to be in the know the latest advice.

Following the UK government’s latest travel update, there are some changes for those leaving Europe and some key things to consider if you’re planning a trip in the next few weeks.

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New changes went into effect from 4 a.m. on Sunday August 8, which means that trips to the Algarve and the main resorts in Portugal will involve some changes.

We have reviewed all Portugal travel restrictions below

What list is the Algarve on?

Like mainland Spain, Portugal and the Azores remain on the government’s orange list. Madeira is on the green list.

What does that mean?

Before leaving the UK: There are currently no restrictions on entry to Portugal from the EU or the UK. You will need to complete a passenger locator form before you leave and show proof of a negative Covid test – either a PCR done within 72 hours of travel or an antigen test.

When you get there: If you have traveled from the UK to mainland Portugal, you must quarantine yourself for 14 days at the place you are staying or at a location indicated by the Portuguese health authority, unless you can prove that you are have been fully vaccinated. Children under 18 are exempt from quarantine if traveling with a fully vaccinated adult.

Quarantine rules apply to passengers arriving by air, as well as by road, rail or sea.

Before traveling to England from mainland Portugal or the Azores: You must take a covid test within three days before your trip to England, book and pay for a test to be taken after you arrive home, and complete a passenger locator form.

Once at home: You must quarantine yourself at home for ten days, taking a covid test on the second and eighth day.

You do not need to quarantine or take an 8th day test after arriving in England if you are:

  • fully vaccinated in UK or as part of UK overseas vaccination program
  • under 18 on the day of your arrival in England and resident in the UK or in a country with a UK approved vaccination program
  • part of an approved vaccine trial in the UK

You must have received your last dose of vaccine at least 14 full days before the date of your arrival in England. You still owe book and take a day 2 test.

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And the tests, have the rules changed?

No, they remain the same as the other Amber List countries.

The government warns that in Portugal, tests must be booked in advance and paid for in full. It may take up to 24 hours for results to return.

You can schedule a test at any private testing clinic in Portugal. Find one near you from this list of approved establishments.

If you are staying in the Algarve, find information about testing facilities at the airport upon arrival or find a testing clinic near you on the Algarve Tourism Authority website. Your hotel can also help you arrange a test in time for your departure.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said, “We are committed to opening up safe international travel, building on the gains we have made from our successful vaccination program, helping connect families, friends and businesses of the whole world.

“While we must continue to be careful, today’s changes are reopening a range of different vacation destinations around the world, which is good news for the industry and travelers.”

Have you visited an Orange List country? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below

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