My wife and I have planned to celebrate our 20th anniversary in Portugal from September 17 to October 1. Now we’re worried that everything will be shut down or that we’ll have trouble getting back. We’re both vaccinated, but still worried, more about things being shut down than catching covid. Should we be?
The current trend is not to shut things down and to rely on vaccination and vaccination certificates to keep us moving forward. The more the % of fully vaccinated people rises, the more restrictions are eased, even as we come down from the latest spike in infections. With that said, I think no one can be 100% sure of how normal things will be/feel in mid-September. Also, if testing is a requirement for you to leave from/return to your country of origin, regardless of vaccination status, there’s always the possibility of a positive result messing up your travel plans.
Personally, my levels of aversion to risk have allowed me to still make travel plans during this pandemic (without committing to them too early in advance), so that’s what I would do in your shoes.
I am scheduled to arrive in Portugal on Sept 14th for 30 days and also have some concerns. I’m also fully vaccinated and have a U.S. Digital Certificate.
As you may know, Portugal is using the EU Digital COVID Certificates and I have been unable to verify that a vaccinated U.S. traveler can obtain an EU Certificate so they can move about freely, or that businesses will accept the U.S. Certificates. I have been in contact with the Portuguese Embassy in San Francisco and was told they have not received any directives on this. In other words, they have no info. They did send me to this page which addresses air traffic to and from Portugal.
I’ve read that an EU Certificate is required to eat indoors at restaurants AND to check-in to hotels. Those without an EU Cert are required to take a Rapid Covid test before entering. This seems onerous, especially when I’m fully vaccinated. Does anyone have more information on how this is actually working on the ground, or if U.S. Covid Certificates are being accepted, etc?
The other concern is the return flight. If a Covid test comes back positive, then you can’t board the plane and have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at your own expense. Because these tests can give false positives, a 10 day quarantine sounds like a big deal. Is a 2nd test allowed to help rule out a false positive?
We had to show negative on arrival to Portugal and we had to go for another test to take a return flight back to the UK. We too are fully vaccinated.
They will not accept a lateral flow test taken yourself which we get free in UK only antigen or PCR is accepted which you go to a medical centre for those so I am not sure that they give false positives whereas the lateral flow definitely does.
If you look at SYNLAB they are placed all over Algarve so we found site and they send certificate to your phone app and email. €25 I think.
Good luck and have fun !
I just spoke to some acquaintances in Lisbon and the Algarve. They say that hotels and restaurants are accepting the U.S. Digital Covid certificates in lieu of having the EU Certif. Hope this is helpful for any U.S. travelers. Best!
We just got back to the U.S. yesterday. I’m not sure if the rules are different in different areas. Our vaccination certificates from the U.S. were not digital, and restaurants wouldn’t accept them. That being said, where we were, you needed proof of vaccination to eat inside, but only on the weekend.
We were able to get our test to come back in Lourinha, where we stay when we go there. U.S. is currently accepting the rapid antigen test for entry. The place where we went didn’t have their own lab, so we had to wait till next day (Saturday) to get results back via email (they aren’t open on the weekend). Big price difference 100 euros for the PCR test and 25 euros for the rapid antigen test.
I live in Massachusetts, where the vaccination rates are about the same as in Portugal. I was impressed with how many people were wearing masks, even just out walking by themselves in fairly open spaces.
Good luck, safe travels.