As countries open up in fits and starts across the world, you’ve probably been wondering whether a Mediterranean beach break could be on the cards this year. Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey all started welcoming international visitors again last summer. And that eternal tourist favourite, Portugal, has also already reopened its borders – to some nationalities.
As of June 15, Americans have been added to the list of nationalities currently being welcomed in Portugal. The US joins the exclusive ranks of the EU member nations, the Schengen region countries and the UK. Though the decision to keep borders open to Americans will be reviewed every two weeks.
Currently, all arrivals in Portugal must fill in a passenger locator form and provide a negative PCR test result from within the past 72 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their trip. Children under two years old are exempt.
(It’s worth noting, though, that island provinces outside mainland Portugal have slightly different rules: visitors to the Azores must show proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure or show proof they contracted the virus and recovered, or get tested upon arrival and isolate until a negative result is available. Travelers must also be tested again on the sixth day of their trip. Madeira, meanwhile, requires proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours, or proof of vaccinated, or proof they contracted the virus and recovered.)
In addition to welcoming new travellers, many of the lockdown restrictions in Portugal have eased: cafes and restaurants are open with some capacity limitations; stores are open with a curfew of 9pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends; and alcohol cannot be sold after 8pm. Mask wearing is still required in closed public spaces and when walking on the beach (but don't have to be worn while you're at your towel).
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.