So many British Holiday makers excitedly booked their trips to Lisbon and the Algarve when the Portugal Green list was announced. A green list country meant that you can travel back to the UK without isolation. Sadly, that has recently ended and Portugal is becoming an Amber country from Tuesday. What does this mean for Holiday Makers?
Well the downside to Amber list countries is that you cannot travel for holiday purposes (or it is not recommended), you will need to isolate on return and you will probably need extra coronavirus tests (private PCR tests) that can be extremely costly.
Portugal is going Amber – Travel for Holidays will not be Recommended
For those of you having a weekend away in Lisbon or Portugal this weekend – you will be pleased to know it is GREEN, so a Friday to Monday trip (4th – 7th June) would be going to a GREEN country and coming back from a GREEN country. You will still need coronavirus tests but just one PCR test each way before boarding.
The problem is that Portugal will change to Amber on 8th June. That means that if you are flying to Portugal before next Tuesday you are allowed to travel there for tourism purposes. BUT you need to be OK with isolating on return because it will probably be an Amber country for you on the way back. For example, you could fly to Portugal as GREEN on Monday 7th June, but if you were returning a week later on 17th June it would then be AMBER.
Isolation on Return from an Amber country
If you are travelling back to the UK from an AMBER country then you will need to isolate for 10 days on return to the UK. You will also be required to purpose of travel, but if you are a British Citizen returning home your British passport should be enough.
Passenger Locator Forms
Remember that you will need to fill in a passenger locator for on the Portugal government website to enter Portugal and the UK website to re-enter UK. This is so that the governments have a record of people on certain flights and know where they are isolating. They can also contact you if they believe that you have been in contact with someone with the Coronavirus infection.
More Coronavirus Tests will be needed on return from Portugal when it goes AMBER
Most of you are aware that to board a plane these days you will need to show evidence of a PCR test with a negative result. This can be stored as a PDF on your phone and be shown at the boarding gate. For a return trip to Lisbon when it was a GREEN country you needed one PCR test to board the flight to Portugal and another to board your flight back. On average, these tests are £100 each so that’s £200 extra for the cost of your trip.
BUT when Portugal goes AMBER, returning to the UK just gets a whole lot more complicated and expensive. To return to the UK, you will need…
- PCR test negative to board the plane to UK
- Day 2 Coronavirus test
- Day 8 Coronavirus test
You may also be able to pay for an extra test to release on day 5. So the cost of coronavirus tests just went from around £200 per person to around £400 per person to and from Portugal. That’s £800 per couple and over a grand for a family of 3 or more.
To make sure that you are following the rules correctly, use the UK Government website to find out about the travel advice on travelling to Portugal:
Also make sure that you have appropriate travel insurance to cover risk of coronavirus and check for any specific boarding/entry requirements with your airline.