There are new rules for those landing in Portugal

  • ECO News
  • 1 August 2020

The government has defined new rules for those landing in Portugal. Temperature controls and tests are coming, but only for some countries.

The government will strengthen controls on flights to Portugal, both for domestic and foreign citizens. More tests and measurements will have to be made of the temperature. However, there are countries for which security measures are not as tight. These new rules were published this Friday by the Portuguese state, and ECO shows you everything that changes for those who are travelling.

All flights linking Portugal and countries in the European Union (EU), the Schengen area (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland), the United Kingdom and 12 other countries are allowed, says the new decree. These 12 additional countries are nations whose epidemiological situation is in line with European criteria:

Countries that will be permitted to enter Portugal outside of EU and Schengen area.


When it comes to countries that do not meet the above criteria, only passengers who are making “essential trips” can leave/enter Portugal, i.e. trips “intended to permit transit through or entry into or exit from Portugal.”

Flights to support the return of nationals or holders of residence permits in Portugal, as well as “flights of a humanitarian nature” and “flights to allow foreign nationals in Portugal to return to their respective countries, on condition that such flights are promoted by the competent authorities of those countries, subject to request and prior agreement” are also permitted.

Foreign nationals must be tested negative 72 hours before the flight

For all citizens coming from countries outside the EU and the Schengen area, a coronavirus test is mandatory. According to the decree, “passengers (…) must present before boarding a proof of laboratory testing for infection by SARS-CoV-2, with a negative result, carried out within 72 hours before boarding.”

These tests must be performed even before boarding the plane, and the responsibility lies entirely with the airline. “The airlines that allow the boarding of nationals or foreigners without the test (…) incur in default (…) and are subject to administrative proceedings” that can reach 2,000 euros, according to the government.

But there are exceptions to these tests when landing on Portuguese soil. National citizens, foreigners with legal residence in Portugal and family members and diplomatic staff placed in Portugal may land in the country without having a test performed. However, when they arrive at one of the Portuguese airports, they “will be directed” to take the test inside the airport, in which case they will have to bear the costs. The results must be expected at home or in their accommodation, “otherwise they will incur a crime of spreading the contagious disease.”

If, in that case, citizens refuse to carry out such a test when landing in Portugal, “they will be immediately notified by the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) to carry out the test within 48 hours, at their own expense,” in addition to being able to “incur the crime of disobedience and spread of contagious disease, and the health authorities and security force” of the area of residence will be informed of this notification.