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News Partnership 8 tips on how to travel safely to Portugal

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8 tips on how to travel safely to Portugal

Everything you need to know about booking, planning, preparing and travelling to Portugal.

With the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we’re here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next trip. Check out the latest COVID-19 travel advice and the interactive ‘Where you can go’ map to stay informed.

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1. Always check the current government advice before booking and travelling

Please get the latest information for COVID-safe travel at GOV.UK Portugal Travel Advice.

2. Opt for flexible tickets

As a general rule, a flexible flight ticket allows for changes or cancellations without a fee, with a smaller-than-usual, or with another condition that makes it easier for you to change plans. 

Skyscanner search for flexible tickets

When searching with Skyscanner’s Flexible tickets option, you’ll see which airlines have loosened their booking terms. With the filter applied, you will only see airlines that offer flexible fares.

As Skyscanner strives to offer you the most up-to-date prices and policies, you need to check the terms and conditions of your specific ticket at the time of booking – to be sure you have a full understanding of its change and cancellation rules.

3. Check the safety rating of your airline

Skyscanner has partnered with to let you search for and choose airlines based on their COVID-19 safety rating. Each airline has a score from 1 to 5 based on how many of these health and safety measures they currently follow:

  1. Face masks mandatory 
  2. Plane deep-cleaned daily 
  3. Flight crew wearing PPE 
  4. Passenger sanitation packs provided 
  5. Changes to food service 

On all search results, you’ll see a purple badge that indicates the rating, measures taken, and what’s expected from the passengers. 

Search for a flight to Portugal now to see how it works:

4. Make sure to stay at a hotel that has a high cleanliness score

Hotels with a cleanliness score of 4.5 out of 5 now have a distinctive badge in Skyscanner’s listings. The score is updated in real-time based on direct guest feedback through our partner TripAdvisor.

Just select cleanliness as a search filter when you browse hotels:

5. Check the current entry rules and quarantine restrictions

Portugal is currently on the amber list for British travellers. New entry requirements have applied since 1 January 2021. You may need to do extra things before you travel. On the date you travel, your passport must have both at least 6 months left before it expires, and be less than 10 years old.

Before travelling, visitors should obtain and confirm information about procedures and restrictions in the UK and Portugal, from the airline company and the foreign and border services.

At this time, the Situation of Calamity is in effect until June 27. The lifting of lockdown restrictions will be reviewed according to the epidemiological situation.

  • Restaurants, cafés, and pastry shops in Portugal currently close at 1 am, with admission until midnight.
  • Cultural facilities must close at 1 am, with admission until midnight. 50% capacity limit is in action.
  • Outdoor events with marked places, distance rules and other specific rules to be defined by the General Directorate of Health.
  • Amateur sports and training events with the public will have marked places and distance rules defined by the DGS. In sports venues, they can only occupy 33% of the capacity.
  • Shops and shopping centres operate without time restrictions.
  • Public transport operates without capacity restrictions. Maximum occupancy of 2/3 when seating and standing.
  • Taxis and TVDE operate with limited capacity for the rear seats.

6. Do not forget to take a lateral flow test (and print out your vaccination certificate, if you have one)

Portugal is now accepting lateral flow tests for travellers arriving from the UK. Previously, holidaymakers were required to present a negative PCR test, which was more expensive and time-consuming.

Lateral flow tests must be carried out within 48 hours of boarding a flight to Portugal.

7. Try to plan your trip to Portugal around less-known places

Despite being Europe’s most visited destination, Portugal still has plenty of secrets for you to discover. Leave Lisbon, Sintra and Porto behind to enjoy Alentejo’s soothing vastness, Madeira’s hidden viewpoints, and the secret corners of the Azores.

Douro Valley in Portugal
Douro Valley. Credit: Andre Carvalho

8. Follow the safety measures on the ground

Turismo de Portugal has implemented the Clean & Safe seal in hotels, restaurants, and other tourism institutions to allow travellers to have greater security and confidence while enjoying their time in Portugal.

Current general behaviour guidelines include:

  • social distancing;
  • frequent hand washing;
  • mandatory use of mask in public spaces;
  • respiratory etiquette.

For more information, please refer to National measures (in Portuguese, but Google Translate will fix it for you in seconds).

In the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores, both regional governments have enacted some specific measures:

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