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

Sunvil discovered the Azores in 1990 and since then we have been one of the leading promoters of responsible tourism, to this enchanting archipelago of nine emerald green islands. We have selected properties full of charm, authenticity and character. Our desire is that you have a personal and enriching holiday experience.

 Since lockdown was announced, and before, we have been closely monitoring government guidance, regional policies and have maintained a continuous dialogue with our colleagues in the Azores. 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 Tuesday 12th October 2021.

Arrivals

The Azores is open for UK visitors and has been categorised as 'Rest of the World' by the UK government. The requirements for travellers are detailed below - for arrivals on/after 04 October:

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

  • A completed My Safe Azores declaration: This questionnaire must be completed prior to departure and your negative PCR test result attached. 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.
  • 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 (NHS App OR letter):

  • 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 certificate from the NHS: This certificate can be obtained by calling "119" from any UK landline or mobile (or by dialling "111" if resident in Wales). This request takes 5-7 days.

You should check that your name on your passport matches how it is displayed on your NHS Covid App/certificate (Pass). If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated. Middle names are not required on the App/certificate. 

We recommend you travel with a printed copy of your vaccination certificate.

If you have not received both vaccinations:

  • Pre-departure testing: A PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure time from the UK. A negative test result is required in order to travel.
  • A completed My Safe Azores declaration: This questionnaire must be completed prior to departure and your negative PCR test result attached. 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.
  • Test to return: 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).
  • Testing on return to the UK: A 10-day period of self-isolation plus 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.

Children:

  • Pre-departure testing - required for children aged 12-17yrs: 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.
  • Testing on return to the UK - required for children aged 5-17yrs: 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 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

  • UK testing kits for travellers in receipt of both vaccinations: Day 2 test – quote SUNVIL2021 online at https://covid.randox.com/day-2/ – at a cost of £43.00 or, alternatively, a lateral flow test from another provider such as Medic Spot - see details below.
  • UK testing kits for travellers not in receipt of both vaccinations: Pre-departure, Day 2 and Day 8 tests – quote SUNVIL2021 online at https://covid.randox.com/non-vaccinated-travel-pack/ at a cost of £129.00. Alternatively, you can purchase the Day 2 and Day 8 tests from Randox (https://covid.randox.com/day-2-and-day-8-bundle/ - cost £86.00) and purchase a pre-departure antigen test from an alternative provider – such as Medic Spot, see below.
  • UK testing kits for children aged 12-17yrs: Pre-departure and Day 2 – Purchase a Day 2 PCR test from Randox (https://covid.randox.com/day-2/) at a cost of £43.00 or, alternatively, a lateral flow test from Medic Spot. Pre-departure tests can also be purchased from Randox or Medic Spot – see below.
  • Children aged 5-11yrs: Day 2 – quote SUNVIL2021 online at https://covid.randox.com/day-2/ at a cost of £43.00.

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 an alternative courier. If an alternative courier is selected, you should ensure that the provider can deliver biological samples and that they offer a next-day tracked service. Samples must arrive within 70 hours of swabbing to undergo testing. Once the test has been analysed you will be sent an electronic test certificate. 

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.

Test to return (in the Azores): 
All adults not in receipt of a double vaccination status 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 book your test for you at a registered clinic.
  • 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. 

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

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.

The Azores received recently the distinction "Coronavirus Safest Destination" from the European Best Destination Organisation, based on health security measures in the tourism sector and its related activities, the low number of cases and security in the local health service.

Measures being carried out at Azores airports: 

  • Reinforced cleaning with hospital-level disinfectants
  • On-going cleaning teams in various areas
  • Disinfection using advanced technology UV equipment
  • Increase of hand sanitisers at all points of the terminals
  • Signage and disclosure of the use of a mask on the terminal
  • Body temperature measurement camera system in coordination with health entities

Recommendations for a safe trip to the Azores

Turismo dos Acores (Visit Azores) have released a series of recommendations for travellers to the archipelago. The document was produced in partnership with with DRT (Direcção Regional de Turismo), SREAT (Secretaria Regional da Energia, Ambiente e Turismo) and the Regional Health Authority. Read here

Recommendations for a safe trip to the Azores

Accommodation

 

Turismo dos Acores | Clean and Safe

Turismo dos Acores 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.

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

  • 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)

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, Turismo dos Acores 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 full capacity
  • 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, restaurants, bars, theatres and other cultural venues have reopened across the Azores. Social distancing (1.5-2 metres) and the use of face masks within crowded indoor public spaces is advised.

For further information on protocols in each island, click here.

Beaches

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 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 the Azores and know the archipelago 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

Azoris Royal Garden Hotel, Sao Miguel Azoris Royal Garden Hotel, Sao Miguel
Terceira Mar Hotel, Terceira Terceira Mar Hotel, Terceira
Pico, Azores Pico, Azores
Sao Miguel, Azores Sao Miguel, Azores

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

020 8568 4499

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Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

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
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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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Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

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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