The UK government recently took all countries off of its travel red list. This coincided with countries worldwide, starting to open their borders to foreign tourists. Travel is back, well sort of. Vaccine passports, Covid tests and other restrictions mean that travel isn’t quite the same as it used to be. The days of just rocking up to the airport are gone, at least for now. For a lot of people, the extra hassle means that they are put of the idea of travelling all together.
I recently flew from London to Lisbon, Portugal, for a much needed holiday and I had my own reasons for being apprehensive about the trip (I’ll explain in more detail further on). However, despite my concerns, the whole trip was a huge success and definitely worth any extra effort. Each country has their own requirements so I’ll keep you updated case by case as I continue my travels. In the meantime, here is everything you need to know about flying from London to Lisbon.
Leaving England (if fully vaccinated)
If you are fully vaccinated with a European recognised vaccine, you can fly from England to Lisbon without a test. You simply need to show proof of vaccination.
To make life more complicated, I don’t have an NHS Covid pass because I received my first vaccine in Australia, however I am double-jabbed and have the documents to prove it. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if I counted as fully vaccinated and decided to take extra precautions, acting as I would if I was an unvaccinated traveller.
Leaving England (If not vaccinated)
If you are not vaccinated, then you can still easily travel to Portugal. You just need to take a pre-departure test, 48 hours prior to departure. This must be from a health clinic that can supply you with a ‘fit to fly’ certificate and it can be a lateral flow test, which is a lot cheaper than a PCR one.
I got mine done at Express test in Gatwick Airport which was incredibly efficient. You simply need to prebook a slot in advance and then you get your results emailed to you in 40 minutes so you can leave it until the day of travel. The lateral flow test cost £35.
Entry to Portugal
On arrival to Portugal, you will need to provide proof of your vaccination or show your negative Covid test result. You must also complete a passenger locator form (https://portugalcleanandsafe.pt/en/passenger-locator-card).
Neither my mother or I were actually asked to show any of these documents by passport control, on arrival in Portugal.
Covid in Portugal
Like the UK, Portugal had previously imposed tough restrictions to deal with the outbreak of Covid-19. The country now has a high vaccination rate and has returned to relative normalcy at the time of writing.
There are no density limits and bars, restaurants and tourist attractions are open. You do not need to wear a mask in public but it is required on public transport and in shops and restaurants, which you will find most people doing. You do not need to be vaccinated to enter places in Portugal.
If you are looking for sustainable travel tips and ideas of things to do in Lisbon, check out my other post: Sustainable Travel Tips For Lisbon
Returning to England`(if fully vaccinated)
If fully vaccinated, you need to book and pay for a lateral flow test to be taken on day 2 of arrival back in the UK. You also need to complete a passenger locator form. https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk
I was asked to show proof of vaccination before boarding my flight but was not asked to show any of these documents on arrival back in the UK.
Returning to England (If not vaccinated)
It’s a little more hassle to travel if you are not vaccinated. In addition to a passenger locator form, you must:
- Quarantine at home for 10 days
- Take a Covid-19 PCR test on day 2 of arrival home
- Take a PCR test on day 8.
For the time being, these steps are the same, regardless of where you have travelled from.
*Having received vaccines from two different countries hasn’t caused me any hassle: yet. However I have a few more trips planned and I will update this post if any issues arise. Taking a trip these days can be a little trickier than usual, but in my experience, it isn’t nearly as complicated as people make out.
I hope that this post give you the help and the confidence to start travelling!