Can I travel to Portugal in summer 2021? Holiday rules explained


Portugal has been added to the amber travel list (Picture: Getty)

Portugal will move from the green to the amber travel list on June 8 at 4am following a surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

The news was announced on June 3, putting pause to dreams of a city getaway in Lisbon, an adventure in Porto, or a beach break in the sunny Algarve.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s traffic light lists can differ to England’s, so it’s best to keep an eye on individual government website advice.

As the rules seem to change rapidly, it’s always wise to check the latest travel advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) before making any moves – but what does all this really mean for a summer 2021 trip to mainland Portugal?

Check out the latest Portugal travel rues below.

Can I travel to Portugal this summer?

Technically, yes, holidaymakers from England can still travel to Portugal this summer – despite it being off the green list.

It’s not without its considerations, though. Travel is allowed, but the UK government is discouraging holidays to amber countries.


couple wearing masks at the airport

Yes, you can travel to Portugal (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

There are also a number of travel requirements you’ll need to complete.

When returning from an amber country, a self-isolation period of 10 days is required – though you self-isolate at home and can take a test five days after returning.

You’ll also be required to take a number of coronavirus tests: one when you depart, and two when you’re back in the UK, two days and eight days after you arrive home.

When Portugal was on the green list, no self-isolation period was required, just Covid-19 testing.


view of porto

Porto, like all of Portugal, is joining the amber list (Picture: Getty)

If you’re currently in Portugal and due to head home, or had booked a future trip while it was a green destination, keep in mind you’ll now have to the amber list rules from 4am on Thursday, June 8.

Will you have to quarantine on arrival in Portugal?

No. As of June 4, Brits travelling from the UK are not required to quarantine when arriving in Portugal.

To enter Portugal, you must have proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test, taken up to 72 hours before departure.

UK government guidance states that you should pay out of pocket for your own PCR test – rather than getting tested via the NHS.

You’ll need to undergo a health screening when you arrive at the airport. If you have symptoms, such as a temperature above 38°C, you’ll be required to stay at the airport until you’ve had a new, negative test result confirmed.


woman receives a covid test

You’ll need numerous Covid tests to travel to an amber country (Picture: Getty)

And you’ll also need to fill in a passenger locator card online.

Bear in mind that this could all be subject to change in the coming days and weeks.

What are the current lockdown restrictions in Portugal?

According to Visit Portugal, there are still some strict lockdown rules in place all over mainland Portugal.

A State of Calamity (essentially, an emergency order) is in place until June 13, and is reviewed every 15 days.

As of June 4, masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces are still required.


Praia da Marinha beach

Masks needed on beaches like Praia da Marinha, due to Portugal’s lockdown rules (Picture: Getty)

This includes when you’re entering or exiting the beach, and your hotel may require them in common areas.

Social distancing and frequent hand-washing is also required.

Most commercial venues are closed by 9pm on weekdays, and even earlier, by 7pm, on weekends.

Theatre shows, other entertainment and restaurants, meanwhile, close at 10.30pm.

Portugal’s foreign ministry told Sky News: ‘Portugal is continuing its easing of its lockdown, prudently and gradually, with clear rules for the safety of those who reside here or visit us.’

What is the current Covid case rate in Portugal?


Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon Portugal

The number of new cases in Portugal is on the rise (Picture: Getty)

The number of new cases in Portugal is slightly on the rise.

575 cases on average are reported each day, up 4% on the pandemic’s peak in Portugal, according to Reuters – where you can find regular updates on the country’s Covid-19 rates.

Currently, the UK government is concerned about ‘growing evidence’ of a rise of the Nepal variant, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News.

Since the pandemic began, Portugal has had over 850,000 cases and, as of June 4, 17,029 Covid deaths.

Around six million vaccine jabs have been administered in total.

However, not everyone agrees with the UK’s decision to put harsher travel restrictions on holidaymakers in Portugal, with Portugal’s Health Council president branding the move as an ‘overreaction’.

Professor Henrique Barros told Sky News that the number of Covid-19 cases ‘is not putting pressure on Portugal’s healthcare system’.

Professor Barros’s opinion was echoed by travel industry expert Lamia Walker, Founder of HouseSitMatch.com, who told Metro.co.uk that Portugal’s move to the amber list is ‘incomprehensible’, as ‘Portugal has had significantly fewer cases than the UK throughout the Covid pandemic.’

Will Portugal ever go back on the green list?

Portugal remains on the green list until 4am on June 8.

It’s just been placed on the amber list, and it could remain there for some time. It’s too early to say otherwise.

The next review of the UK’s travel traffic light system is due to take place on June 24, three weeks after the last update.

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