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Portugal Reopening For Tourism – Everything You Need To Know

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As of June 2020, Portugal has reopened its doors for tourism from select countries. Unlike some other countries now accepting tourists, mainland Portugal is not requiring a confinement/isolation period for the new arrivals.

portugal is allowing visitors from USA and Canada

Portugal’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva recently made a statement saying:

“Tourists are welcome in Portugal,” and explained that some health checks will be introduced at airports but there will be no compulsory quarantine for those flying in.

tourists welcome in portugal

EU Nations allowed to travel to Portugal:

As of Sept 29:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Third-Party Countries Outside the EU That Can Travel to Portugal as of August 1:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

*** Important Note: Portugal has been one of the most confusing countries for entry requirements. Travel Off Path has received a massive amount of conflicting information about how these third-party countries are being permitted.

Please check with your consulate before travelling to ensure your entry.

Below is an example of the reciprocity issues:

Below was a response I received from SEF immigration for Portugal on July 9, 2020.

And another response from the Canadian consulate in Portugal

Due to the sheer lack of concrete information coming out of Portugal and the constant retractions and changes made by the Portuguese government recently on who is allowed entry, we recommend you confirm any and all travel plans directly with local authorities before you depart.

Note-  July 9:

We have had MANY Canadian readers successfully depart Canada and gain entry into Portugal for the purposes of tourism in the last 72 hours, without any reciprocity, testing, or quarantines.

portugal has reopened for tourism

Testing Requirements

Test Requirement UPDATE AUGUST 1

We have heard reports saying some consulates have been advising that ALL third-party countries, even approved ones like Canada, are now being asked to bring a negative PCR test. According to the SEF website, IATA, ReopenEU, and VisitPortugal, this is false. 

Who doesn’t need a test:

Approved countries in the 2 lists above that include EU/Schengen nations and the 12 third-party approved countries.

Who needs to bring a 72 hour negative PCR test:

  • Any traveler from any nation going into Madeira or Azores
  • ESSENTIAL passengers and NATIONALS arriving from any country not on the above 2 lists. 

If an essential traveler from a non-approved country or a national returning from a non-approved country cannot get a negative PCR test, they will have to do one upon arrival. 

Update for USA Travelers August 1

The US embassy in Portugal now states (in regards to AMERICAN traveler s only)

“The Government of Portugal currently prohibits non-essential (tourist) travel to Portugal by U.S. citizens. However, some airlines continue to sell tickets for travel between the United States and Portugal. Please confirm your eligibility to enter Portugal with the airline and review the airline’s policy on refunds before purchasing tickets. All travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the last 72 hours – Your airline may refuse to board you without evidence a negative COVID-19 test conducted in the last 72 hours.

The VisitPortugal site has also updated information that reads “ESSENTIAL travel from the USA is permitted with the proof of a negative covid test within 72 hours of departure”

Portugal requiring a negative PCR test from American travelers does not mean American travelers can enter for tourism. Only essential American travelers (humanitarian flights, spouses of EU citizens, etc) can enter Portugal with a test at this time. 

The original article continues below…

Retraction Notice – June 16th 2020

The original version of this article published June 1st provided information that has now been found to be incorrect. It stated that the USA, UK, Canada and Brazil would be allowed to enter as of June 15th with no restrictions, the same as the current allowed EU/Schengen nations. 

After many attempts we finally received a direct statement from the government of Portugal stating:

  • That flights to the USA, UK, Canada and Brazil have resumed as of June 15th, but that they would only allow USA, UK, Canadian and Brazilian citizens into Portugal with no restrictions if those countries would give Portugal full reciprocity and allow Portuguese citizens into their countries restriction free. 
  • The reciprocity  policy will remain in place until the U.S. lifts restrictions on visitors from Europe or EU Schengen lifts restrictions on visitors from the US, which they hope to happen by July 1st.
portugal is reopening for tourists

Tourism makes up around 10% of Portugal’s GDP and the government is very eager to be able to start receiving tourists again, while of course enforcing enhanced health and safety protocols. “Portugal’s health system responds well, and this is very important for us to be able to welcome people.” Silva said.

Some tourists considering taking a summer trip to Portugal are wondering if it’s business as usual. While social distancing, reduced capacity and extra sanitary precautions are still in full effect, MANY businesses and attractions are open. Tourists can go to the beach, eat at restaurants, visit a museum and more.

portugals opening plan

Here’s a full list of what’s currently open in Portugal:

  • Cinemas and Theatres
  • Shopping Malls
  • Restaurants and Cafes
  • Patios and Terraces
  • Fishing
  • Outdoor Sports and Golfing
  • Zoos and Aquariums
  • Water Sports and Nautical Activities
  • Book Shops and Libraries
  • Churches
  • Street-side Stores and Shops
  • Public Transportation, Rideshare and Taxis
  • Museums, Art Galleries and other Cultural Attractions
  • Opening Soon: June 6th – Beaches
Portugal reopening for tourism

Exception of the Azores & Madeira Islands

The above announcements are for continental Portugal only, and flying into the Azores and Madeira islands instead of mainland Portugal come with their own rules and exceptions.

Azores Archipelago & Madeira Archipelago

Visitors will bring a negative covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or be subject to mandatory testing upon arrival (free of charge). Arrivals also agree to wear a mask on their flight, within the airport, and on any private transportation once they land.

Flights and Airlines flying into Portugal

TAP, Portugal’s biggest airline, announced they are resuming service to North American starting on June 4th and slowing resuming additional scheduled flights as the summer continues.

Delta, Air Canada and Air Transat are looking to start up their flights again starting July 1st from multiple cities in Canada and the USA, like Miami, Toronto, Montreal, and New York City.

portugal health and safety for opening

Disclaimer: Portugal’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but the decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry before traveling.

Read More: See a complete list of countries now reopen for international tourism 

For the latest United States, Canada, and World-wide Travel News join our: Facebook Community

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Marianne Callari

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

The reciprocity policy will remain in place until the U.S. lifts restrictions on visitors from Europe or EU Schengen lifts restrictions on visitors from the US, which they hope to happen by July 1st. Since this was stated in your column and the US has opened to European countries would this mean a new update possible on the reciprocity to US travelers to Portugal being allowed entry?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

A LOT has changed since this was published back in July. I am not sure what Portugal's current stance is on reciprocity, as this truly has been an unprecedented, ever-changing, and unpredictable time. Europe doesn't seem to be opening up more, only re-closing again


Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Do you know if there are any exceptions for Americans who are looking to move to Portugal? If we are working with house hunters international on this move, could that potentially be counted as "business"?

Kashlee Kucheran

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

So hard to say! I think only the consulate could advise you on this

Adrienne Cooper

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Hi Kashmir and everyone on this thread, I and my partner have dual citizenship I am Canadian/ Irish and he is Canadian/Italian. Do you think it would be easier to travel to Portugal from Canada as EU Citizens.

Kashlee Kucheran

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Yes, with the tightening restrictions and uncertainty if/when Canada might be removed from Portugals list, I assume it would be much easier

Chandra Davidson

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Hi Kashlee, my boyfriend is a Canadian citizen but is currently in America for work. Would he be able to fly to Portugal from America with his Canadian passport? He would obviously still get a covid test within the 72 hours of his flight. I have not been able to find any information for Canadian citizens flying from America.

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Hello Chandra - Portugal is allowing Canadians flying from a 'safe' or 'approved' nation, but not a high-risk 3rd party nation. With the info I have, I believe he will not be able to fly from the USA. However, this is a weird time, and data is not always reliable or consistent. You could try and contact SEF, border police, or even the airline to see if there are other ways


Sunday 11th of October 2020

Hi Kashlee, my wife is a Portuguese citizen and will be traveling to Portugal on the 13th of November, I however am a South African citizen so i cannot get a visa to travel with her, do you know of any way that i may be able to accompany my wife?

Kashlee Kucheran

Sunday 11th of October 2020

Hello - No sorry. Not at this time. If she was travelling there to move back, there might be an exception, but if the travel is just for leisure, then at this time you will not be permitted. You should check with Portuguese border police or SEF to be sure