As soon as it was confirmed that Portugal would let British travellers in on Monday, it was all systems go here in order to fill all the criteria of both the Portuguese and British governments in order to travel.
Although Portugal is on the UK ‘Green List’, it doesn’t mean that it’s completely frictionless and there are a number of hurdles needed to be overcome before they will let you into the country, and in our case quite complex when travelling either for a short duration or at the last minute.
The first requirement is Portugal needs a full PCR test, taken within 72 hours of arrival. With many labs not open on a Sunday, that gave us a deadline of Friday afternoon, when travelling on Monday morning. It’s important to think of these timeframes when travelling, as even being a few minutes out could mean them refusing your entry.
We have an arrangement with Acorn Pharmacy next door. The test is taken by a professional, and if you have your appointment before 3:30 pm, you’ll get the results the next day. It’s £100, which is more expensive than the postal PCR tests on offer, but if time is short this is an excellent service.
You also need to fill in a ‘Passenger Locator Form’, which in our case is the entry into Portugal. This is quite a simple form that can be found on the FCDO website, and we also have a link to some (including Portugal) on our website. This, together with your PCR certificate, when you get the results back, is what you need to produce at the airport. It might be handy to have a printout for the airport, not just on your phone.
Whilst in the UK before you go, it might be worth thinking about what you need to do on the way home. Like every other country, you need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form, approximately 48 hours before returning home. As Portugal is a ‘Green List’ country it requires two separate tests when returning home. A test before leaving Portugal and another two days after arriving back in the UK. The test to arrive back into the UK doesn’t specify that it has to be a PCR, just that it has been conducted by the clinic and you have a certificate to meet the guidelines. There is a company doing Lateral Flow Tests over a video link for £40, which you can purchase before you go, which are government-approved. The PCR test on the way home also has to be ‘government approved’, where you can choose a supplier online and pay as part of the locator form.
We’ll update everyone on Monday with the airport and aircraft experience, as well as spending the first afternoon in the Algarve.