Which? Holiday Checker

This document contains the latest information about the protocols, preventative measures and changes adopted in Portugal in response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Sunvil has offered holidays to Portugal since 1984, and, in keeping with our ethos, focuses on the lesser-known regions of the country. From the Algarve in the south to the border with Galicia in the north, we have selected destinations and properties full of charm, authenticity and character. Our desire is that you have a personal and enriching holiday experience.

Throughout the pandemic, we have closely monitored government guidance, regional policies and have maintained a continuous dialogue with our colleagues in Portugal. Below we have highlighted the facts and guidelines relating to accommodation, shops and services. It is important to note that guidelines are being updated daily and you should contact us should you have any specific questions or concerns.

This document was updated on Monday 6th September 2021.

Arrivals

Portugal has been categorised as Amber by the UK government and open to all visitors. The testing requirements are detailed below.

If you have received both vaccinations (more than 14 days prior to departure):

  • A pre-departure test is not required for fully-vaccinated travellers to Portugal. Instead proof of vaccination status, as detailed below is required.
  • A completed Passenger Locator Card questionnaire. This questionnaire must be completed prior to departure. It is your responsibility to do so as will be any costs incurred for new flight tickets and amendments to your travel plans should the form not be submitted. Airlines are denying boarding to those who fail to provide evidence of their submission. You can find further information in our dedicated blog.
  • All travellers must undertake a PCR, LAMP or Antigen test within 72 hours of return to the UK. This test must be taken at a local clinic or using a virtual provider (see below), approved by the UK government. A fit to fly certificate is provided (the certificate must be in English, Spanish or French). Further details can be found here.
  • A completed UK Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
  • Testing on return to the UK: A Day 2 test is required. This test must be ordered before your return to the UK and evidence of this purchase must be added to the UK Passenger Locator Form.

Evidence for passengers in receipt of both vaccinations (one of the following):

  • The NHS App: This application is valid on smart phones and tablets and requires ALL passengers to register for their own account. The account is connected to your NHS number, date of birth and postcode. The application will display your Covid-19 vaccine record.
  • An official letter from the NHS: This letter can be obtained by calling “119” from any UK landline or mobile. This request takes c.5-7 days to receive.
  • You should check that your name on your passport matches how it is displayed on your NHS Covid Pass. If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated.

If you have not received both vaccinations:

  • Pre-departure testing: A PCR test taken within 72 hours of your flight departure time from the UK or a rapid antigen test from an authorised clinic taken within 48 hours of your flight departure time - A negative test result is required in order to travel.
  • A completed Passenger Locator Card questionnaire. This questionnaire must be completed prior to departure. It is your responsibility to do so as will be any costs incurred for new flight tickets and amendments to your travel plans should the form not be submitted. Airlines are denying boarding to those who fail to provide evidence of their submission. You can find further information in our dedicated blog.
  • All travellers must undertake a PCR, LAMP or Antigen test within 72 hours of return to the UK. This test must be taken at a local clinic or using a virtual provider (see below), approved by the UK government. A fit to fly certificate is provided (the certificate must be in English, Spanish or French). Further details can be found here.
  • A completed UK Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
  • A 10-day period of self-isolation applies for all non-vaccinated travellers returning from an Amber destination. In addition, a PCR test on/before Day 2 and on/after Day 8 is required. These tests must be ordered before your return to the UK and evidence of this purchase must be added to the UK Passenger Locator Form. A full list of providers for the Day 2 and Day 8 tests can be found here.
  • Test to release on Day 5: This optional test is available to travellers in England. The test must be added to the UK Passenger Locator Form. If you choose to purchase a Day 5 test after your return to the UK a revised Passenger Locator Form must be submitted.

Children:

  • Pre-departure testing: Children under 12yrs are exempt from the pre-departure testing detailed above. Those aged 12-17yrs must undertake a PCR test or Antigen test within 48 hours of departure from the UK.
  • Test to return – required for children aged 11-17yrs: All travellers must undertake a PCR, LAMP or Antigen test within 72 hours of return to the UK. This test must be taken at a local clinic or using a virtual provider, approved by the UK government. A fit to fly certificate is provided (the certificate must be in English, Spanish or French).
  • Testing on return to the UK - required for children aged 5-17yrs - Travelling with fully-vaccinated parent(s)/parental guardian(s): A PCR test on/before Day 2 is required. These tests must be ordered before your return to the UK and evidence of this purchase must be added to the UK Passenger Locator Form.
  • Testing on return to the UK - required for children aged 5-17yrs - Travelling with parent(s)/parental guardian(s) not in receipt of both vaccinations: A 10-day period of self-isolation applies for all not fully-vaccinated travellers returning from an Amber destination. In addition, a PCR test on/before Day 2 and on/after Day 8 is required. These tests must be ordered before your return to the UK and evidence of this purchase must be added to the UK Passenger Locator Form.
  • Test to release on Day 5: This optional test is available to travellers in England. The test must be added to the UK Passenger Locator Form. If you choose to purchase a Day 5 test after your return to the UK a revised Passenger Locator Form must be submitted.

 

Testing providers

In UK tests:

At Sunvil, we have a partnership with Randox Health (one of the UK government’s approved providers) and our travellers can purchase tests at a reduced price:

Randox Health
Finsbury House
23 Finsbury Circus
London
EC2M 7EO
Website: https://www.randoxhealth.com
Tel: 0800 254 5130

With Randox, you will self-administer a swab test using the instructions in the test kit provided and send the test back to Randox using one of their local drop boxes or a courier. Once the test has been analysed you will be sent an electronic test certificate.

Medic Spot – Providers of Antigen tests

Government backed Medic Spot offer Antigen tests for travellers, with results in 20 minutes. These tests can be purchased through Sunvil on Tel: 020 8758 4758 (choosing pre-departures) at a rate of £30.00 per test. Alternatively, you can purchase the tests online by visiting https://tests.medicspot.co.uk/products/outbound-antigen - £45.00 per person. These tests can also be used for your ‘Test to return’ (as an alternative provider to Qured).

Express Test - Providers of PCR tests

Express Test offer drive-through PCR tests at 17 airports and hubs across the UK including at Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports as well as at a centre in Croydon and in Reading.

The test costs from £50.00 per person and results are guaranteed by 10pm the next day (after receipt). Express Test also provide the Day 2 and Day 8 tests for those travelling to Amber destinations.

Test to return (in Portugal):

All travellers must undertake a PCR, LAMP or Antigen test within 72 hours of return to the UK. This test can be in the following format:

  • An in-clinic test in resort: Our local partners will assist with your test at a registered clinic; transfers can also be arranged. The test is payable locally. an antigen will cost c.20-30 Euros, a LAMP or PCR test will be more.
  • A virtual consultation test: Tried-and-tested by the Sunvil team, this option will require you to self-administer a swab test whilst on a virtual consultation with a registered clinician, in the privacy of your accommodation. Once complete, and a negative test result is received, a fit to fly certificate is issued. Our preferred partner is Qured. This test will cost £35.00*.
  • A self-administered Antigen test (purchased prior to departure): Tried and-tested by our team, this option offered by Medic Spot will require you to perform a swab test and to upload the result to their website. On proof of a negative test result, a fit to fly certificate is issued. These tests can be purchased through Sunvil on 020 8758 4758 (choosing pre-departures) at a rate of £40.00 per test. Alternatively, you can purchase the tests online by visiting https://tests.medicspot.co.uk/products/return-antigen - £45.00 per person.

Qured
4th Floor West
22-25 Eastcastle Street
London
W1W 8DF
Website: https://qured.com

 To order your tests, please follow these instructions:

  • Go to https://patients.qured.com
  • Select 'sign up' and create your account
  • Click the test type 'diagnostic' and then 'PCR test' (or whichever test type you wish to choose)
  • Enter your delivery address
  • Select the delivery type as 'Courier' (or whichever delivery option you wish choose)
  • Enter the promo code: 'SUNVIL10'
  • Confirm the information is correct and confirm the booking
  • You will be emailed the booking confirmation

When the results are released, the account holder will be sent an email and text. You can then login and view the results from the 'history' section on their account.

* Please note you will require a Smartphone with Cellular or WiFi access. Should you not be able to perform the test for any reason, we will endeavour to assist you in resort with an alternative test however the original test remains non refundable. Sunvil cannot accept any responsibility for the reliance and performance of testing. 

Requirements for the fit to fly ‘Test to return’ certificate:

  • Name, which should match the name on your travel documents (+passport number)
  • Date of birth or age
  • The result of the test
  • The date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • The name of the test provider and their contact details
  • Confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test

Requirements for the fit to fly ‘Test to return’ certificate:

  • Name, which should match the name on your travel documents (+passport number)
  • Date of birth or age
  • The result of the test
  • The date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • The name of the test provider and their contact details
  • Confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test

Requirements for the test:

Performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

Full testing information and details of additional suppliers can be found here.

Please also ensure that you are familiar with the new rules for travel within Europe from 01 January 2021. A synopsis of the changes can be found in our dedicated blog.

In addition to the 'Clean and Safe' stamp of approval detailed below, Portugal was also the first country to be awarded the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) Global Safety Stamp, 'Safe Travels'. This stamp is designed to enable travellers to recognise governments and companies around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

Safe Travels

All arrivals into Portugal are given a leaflet about the measures adopted by the country and what they should do if they start displaying symptons. Airports are using temperature screening. 

Face masks

  • The use of face masks is obligatory in enclosed spaces and when outside if social distancing of 2m can’t be maintained.
  • In restaurants and cafes, the use of face masks is required until seated.
  • Face masks are mandatory for everyone over the age of 10 on all forms of public transport and private hire vehicles.
  • Surgical masks are required to be changed every four hours.

Accommodation

Turismo de Portugal | Clean and Safe

Turismo de Portugal have introduced a ‘Clean and Safe’ stamp of approval for handling visitors during the Coronavirus pandemic. This identifies tourist accommodation and activities which are compliant with the hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of Covid-19 and other possible infections, as identified by the Portuguese DGS - Directorate-General for Health.

Further information on the measures to be adopted by accommodation can be found below and in this link:

  • You will also be asked to show your vaccination status upon check-in.
  • Social distancing within the hotel and its grounds
  • Perspex screens at reception desks
  • Later check-in/earlier check-out to allow for enhanced cleaning
  • Use of face masks by customer facing personnel
  • Breakfasts to be served (no buffet)
  • Reduced guest capacity

Sunvil's team will advise any measures specific to your hotel of choice upon confirmation and with our travel documentation.

Transfers and car hire

In addition to protocols for accommodation, the Portuguese DGS - Directorate-General for Health has also established measures for the transportation of visitors. Sunvil and our local partners have adopted these measures and made the necessary plans for those travelling with us.

  • Transfer vehicles will be cleaned between each service
  • A private taxi transfer can accommodate a maximum of 2 adult passengers (three if from the same family group) per vehicle
  • Transfer vehicles will travel with a window open to ensure the vehicle is continuously ventilated
  • It is important to note that all passengers will be required to wear face masks during their journey and that in some instances guests will be required to load/unload their luggage from the vehicle
  • Hire cars will be deep-cleaned prior to all rentals

Services

Shopping malls, childcare centres, gyms, cinemas, theatres and other cultural venues have reopened across most of the country, but with capacity restrictions, social distancing (2 metres) and the use of face masks within indoor public spaces.

Restaurants, bars, and cafes are open until 2am. Gatherings are limited to 8 people per table indoors and 15 people per table outdoors. The use of facial cover is compulsory, except when eating or drinking. Drinking alcohol in public is only allowed while seated in restaurants and cafes.

Contactless payments (no cash) are preferred across the country.

Additional measures in some municipalities 

Measures are in place throughout Portugal to control the spread of the virus. These measures differ according to the level of risk in each municipality. There are four levels of risk: moderate, high, very high and extremely high. Check the level of risk in your municipality here and use this tool (in Portuguese) on the Portuguese government’s website to confirm the measures in place in each municipality.

Beaches

Access to the beach will be subject to occupancy restrictions and one-way systems will be in place. You will be required to use a mask until you reach your spot on the sand and whilst using any public facilities. Please maintain a 3m distance from those around you and allow 1.5m when walking along the sand.

Access to the beach will be subject to occupancy restrictions as will be indicated to users as detailed below. If a red sign is displayed the beach has reached capacity and new visitors are not permitted.

  • Green: low occupancy (1/3)
  • Yellow: high occupancy (2/3)
  • Red: full occupancy (3/3)

The practice of all outdoor sports activities is permitted.

The information will be updated in real time on the “Info Praia” app and on the website of the Portuguese Environment Association - www.apambiente.pt

Sunvil's support

Sunvil’s destination specialists have toured Portugal and know the country inside out. The team consisting of Rosanna, Michelle, Yasmin, Cristiana, Alison and Bekki, are supported in-country by our local agent. We operate a 24-hour emergency telephone number and are also on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Useful links

Turismo de Portugal | Clean and Safe for accommodation Turismo de Portugal | Clean and Safe for accommodation
Turismo de Portugal | Clean and Safe for accommodation Turismo de Portugal | Clean and Safe for accommodation
The Alentejo coastline, Portugal The Alentejo coastline, Portugal
Lagos, Portugal Lagos, Portugal
Marvao, Portugal Marvao, Portugal
The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

6th September 2021



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774
  • Marketing: 020 8758 4731

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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