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COVID Need for daily Covid tests in Portugal?

James Tabano

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2018
Getting ready to go on my second Camino. Starting in Porto then through Spain. Am aware of SpTH and am fully vaccinated. Will have a PCR test 72 hrs before entry into Lisbon. But does anyone have info concerning the need for daily (rapid) testing once within Portugal and Spain. Given entry to different venues (accommodations, restaurants, etc.) will vaccination certification suffice or will I have to get tested daily?
 
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Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2020
What kind of vaccination certificate do you have? If it's the EU digital certificate or the UK certificate then you're fine. If not, then technically you would need to show test results (from within 24, 48 or 72 hours depending on the type of test) to check into any accommodation in Portugal, but forum members have indicated that some accommodation owners will accept vaccination certificates from other parts of the world.
 

mamalivindolce

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Getting ready to go on my second Camino. Starting in Porto then through Spain. Am aware of SpTH and am fully vaccinated. Will have a PCR test 72 hrs before entry into Lisbon. But does anyone have info concerning the need for daily (rapid) testing once within Portugal and Spain. Given entry to different venues (accommodations, restaurants, etc.) will vaccination certification suffice or will I have to get tested daily?
Hi James. I just walked from Porto to Tui (Spain) arrived yesterday….We’ve shown our vaccination cards maybe 3 times to lodging proprietors… we pre-booked hotels/apartments prior to leaving Florida. Everyone wears masks inside stores, cafes, etc. & outside while strolling pedestrian zones. I’m in Porrino now. I think our next hurdle will be when we leave Santiago via RyanAir to Frankfurt…..we’ll need to get Covid tests -have read/heard they are easy to get in Santiago before our flight … seems everyone is happy to have peregrinos on the Camino again! P.s. we have not stayed in any alberghe so I can’t tell you about their policies. Buen Camino
 

Helena Litherland

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016) Frances (2018)
Getting ready to go on my second Camino. Starting in Porto then through Spain. Am aware of SpTH and am fully vaccinated. Will have a PCR test 72 hrs before entry into Lisbon. But does anyone have info concerning the need for daily (rapid) testing once within Portugal and Spain. Given entry to different venues (accommodations, restaurants, etc.) will vaccination certification suffice or will I have to get tested daily?
The only place we were asked for our vacination cert was in Porto and our first stop on the coastal route. Our Canadian Vacination cert was not good in Porto but the hotel was good with our negative test coming into portugal. After the first day we have not had to present our certificate at any venue as a matter of fact we have been walking now for 11 days and have not even had to show our passports in many hotels. People here are wearing masks on the streets so as long as you respect that condition you are good to go. On the Espiritual Varient now highly recommend it.
 

Helena Litherland

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016) Frances (2018)
Hi James. I just walked from Porto to Tui (Spain) arrived yesterday….We’ve shown our vaccination cards maybe 3 times to lodging proprietors… we pre-booked hotels/apartments prior to leaving Florida. Everyone wears masks inside stores, cafes, etc. & outside while strolling pedestrian zones. I’m in Porrino now. I think our next hurdle will be when we leave Santiago via RyanAir to Frankfurt…..we’ll need to get Covid tests -have read/heard they are easy to get in Santiago before our flight … seems everyone is happy to have peregrinos on the Camino again! P.s. we have not stayed in any alberghe so I can’t tell you about their policies. Buen Camino
We are stayong in the municipal alberge in
Hi James. I just walked from Porto to Tui (Spain) arrived yesterday….We’ve shown our vaccination cards maybe 3 times to lodging proprietors… we pre-booked hotels/apartments prior to leaving Florida. Everyone wears masks inside stores, cafes, etc. & outside while strolling pedestrian zones. I’m in Porrino now. I think our next hurdle will be when we leave Santiago via RyanAir to Frankfurt…..we’ll need to get Covid tests -have read/heard they are easy to get in Santiago before our flight … seems everyone is happy to have peregrinos on the Camino again! P.s. we have not stayed in any alberghe so I can’t tell you about their policies. Buen Camino
We are staying in the municipal albergue in Vila Nova de Arousa (Espritual Varient) did not ask for anything.
 
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Past OR future Camino
September 2019: first Camino, can only do partial this year due to recent knee replacement
Getting ready to go on my second Camino. Starting in Porto then through Spain. Am aware of SpTH and am fully vaccinated. Will have a PCR test 72 hrs before entry into Lisbon. But does anyone have info concerning the need for daily (rapid) testing once within Portugal and Spain. Given entry to different venues (accommodations, restaurants, etc.) will vaccination certification suffice or will I have to get tested daily?
We have been in Portugal about 18 days now, staying at a different hotel just about that many times as we are walking the Camino from Lisbon. Most of the hotel or Albergue hosts have asked to see our CDC vaccination certificate, no one has asked us to take a test.
 

KimR

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ‘18
Portuguese(costa,cent) ‘19
Norte ‘21
Hi James. I just walked from Porto to Tui (Spain) arrived yesterday….We’ve shown our vaccination cards maybe 3 times to lodging proprietors… we pre-booked hotels/apartments prior to leaving Florida. Everyone wears masks inside stores, cafes, etc. & outside while strolling pedestrian zones. I’m in Porrino now. I think our next hurdle will be when we leave Santiago via RyanAir to Frankfurt…..we’ll need to get Covid tests -have read/heard they are easy to get in Santiago before our flight … seems everyone is happy to have peregrinos on the Camino again! P.s. we have not stayed in any alberghe so I can’t tell you about their policies. Buen Camino
Just flew through Frankfurt on my way to Madrid- they looked at both PCR results and proof of vaccination certification.
 

Camino Jim

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(12), Portuguese(13), Finisterre(13), Norte(14Partial), Ingles(17),Via de la Plata(19partial)
Hi James. I just walked from Porto to Tui (Spain) arrived yesterday….We’ve shown our vaccination cards maybe 3 times to lodging proprietors… we pre-booked hotels/apartments prior to leaving Florida. Everyone wears masks inside stores, cafes, etc. & outside while strolling pedestrian zones. I’m in Porrino now. I think our next hurdle will be when we leave Santiago via RyanAir to Frankfurt…..we’ll need to get Covid tests -have read/heard they are easy to get in Santiago before our flight … seems everyone is happy to have peregrinos on the Camino again! P.s. we have not stayed in any alberghe so I can’t tell you about their policies. Buen Camino
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greengirl

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Getting ready to go on my second Camino. Starting in Porto then through Spain. Am aware of SpTH and am fully vaccinated. Will have a PCR test 72 hrs before entry into Lisbon. But does anyone have info concerning the need for daily (rapid) testing once within Portugal and Spain. Given entry to different venues (accommodations, restaurants, etc.) will vaccination certification suffice or will I have to get tested daily?
We are 10 days into our Camino from Lisbon. Most accommodations ask for your vaccination certificate but noone has ever asked for a Covid test, though we brought a supply with us just in case.
 

ladyvyper

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Getting ready to go on my second Camino. Starting in Porto then through Spain. Am aware of SpTH and am fully vaccinated. Will have a PCR test 72 hrs before entry into Lisbon. But does anyone have info concerning the need for daily (rapid) testing once within Portugal and Spain. Given entry to different venues (accommodations, restaurants, etc.) will vaccination certification suffice or will I have to get tested daily?
I started my Camino in Porto. Arrived Sept.2. The hotel in Porto made me take a test. They would not accrpt results from the US. All my other hotels in Portugal accepted the cdc card. No place in Spain so far has asked for anything. (I am now in Arcade). I did submit the form for entering Gslicia after I crossed the border.
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
I started my Camino in Porto. Arrived Sept.2. The hotel in Porto made me take a test. They would not accrpt results from the US. All my other hotels in Portugal accepted the cdc card. No place in Spain so far has asked for anything. (I am now in Arcade). I did submit the form for entering Gslicia after I crossed the border.
Wow I am surprised/concerned to hear a particular hotel would not accept US vaccinations. Was this a scam to get your money for tests? I will be going to Lisbon for a few days before I fly home, and realize there is no mention of such requirements. Hmmmmmm.
 

ladyvyper

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Wow I am surprised/concerned to hear a particular hotel would not accept US vaccinations. Was this a scam to get your money for tests? I will be going to Lisbon for a few days before I fly home, and realize there is no mention of such requirements. Hmmmmmm.
Test was 2 euro. Actually, I think this hotel was following the actual rules and the others aren't. Under Portuguese rules you need an EU digital certificate or an onsite test.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
We were touristing for a week in Setúbal, and now are finishing our second week north of Lisboa, in Vila Nova da Barquinha.

Only the hotel in Setúbal has asked for our vaccination proof from Canada. We were warned by a server here, in a local restaurant, that on the weekends they had to ask for either test results or some proof of vaccination.

As others have mentioned, most people wear masks on the street in populated areas, and you're expected to wear a mask inside a restaurant except when actually eating/drinking. Otherwise, people are pretty matter-of-fact about it all.

The most complex situation we've met, is trying to go to a bank branch, here in a small town. They only allow one person inside at a time, and only one staff member is in the bank (in normal times, 4 or 5).

It worked, though we did not have the luxury of speaking with their usual English-speaking staff member. We had to communicate in my sad Portuguese.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Test was 2 euro. Actually, I think this hotel was following the actual rules and the others aren't. Under Portuguese rules you need an EU digital certificate or an onsite test.
That it is 2 euro for a test is interesting and I wonder why the labs can charge 50 to 100 or more.
I realize I have not looked up Portugal requirements because I was focusing on UK and Spain.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
That it is 2 euro for a test is interesting and I wonder why the labs can charge 50 to 100 or more.
I realize I have not looked up Portugal requirements because I was focusing on UK and Spain.
The self tests are usually less expensive than a test that you have to do at a clinic. Here in the US the self tests are quite a bit more expensive (of course). A box of two BinaxNOW tests is usually about $24. It's great that they can be purchased so inexpensively in Portugal.
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
The self tests are usually less expensive than a test that you have to do at a clinic. Here in the US the self tests are quite a bit more expensive (of course). A box of two BinaxNOW tests is usually about $24. It's great that they can be purchased so inexpensively in Portugal.
I wonder if self tests are accepted. I know of some that come with the opportunity to be observed, and others are ones you do yourself to see results and self isolate if needed.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I wonder if self tests are accepted. I know of some that come with the opportunity to be observed, and others are ones you do yourself to see results and self isolate if needed.
It depends on the purpose of the test. If it's to get into a hotel or restaurant in Portugal I don't believe that you need medical supervision. I have read that people have done the test on the sport at the hotel. However, if it's for boarding a plane you can get the self test that in which you do it online with a medical professional witnessing the test, who then can give you the proper credential that it was negative. Like this one:
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
That it is 2 euro for a test is interesting and I wonder why the labs can charge 50 to 100 or more.
I realize I have not looked up Portugal requirements because I was focusing on UK and Spain.
Different kinds of tests. I'm not a scientist so will not even try to explain. But the more expensive ones involve culturing antibodies, I think. The cheap ones just use some kind of signalling chemical. Quite different levels of reliability, I suspect.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Different kinds of tests. I'm not a scientist so will not even try to explain. But the more expensive ones involve culturing antibodies, I think. The cheap ones just use some kind of signalling chemical. Quite different levels of reliability, I suspect.
Yes, the PCR actually checks genetic material while the antigen tests for a protein.
 

greengirl

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
So up until Coimbra we wereveither not asked for anything or our UK vaccination letter was accepted. But at the Changecathe World Hostel theyvsaid that as we didnt havevtge actual EU certificate we qould ahve to take a test. Lateral flow tests are free in the UK sovwe have brought some with us. The woman watched while we did the test. In the evening a restaurant owner said we had to eat outside because qe hadnt brought thev test or a letter.
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
So up until Coimbra we wereveither not asked for anything or our UK vaccination letter was accepted. But at the Changecathe World Hostel theyvsaid that as we didnt havevtge actual EU certificate we qould ahve to take a test. Lateral flow tests are free in the UK sovwe have brought some with us. The woman watched while we did the test. In the evening a restaurant owner said we had to eat outside because qe hadnt brought thev test or a letter.
We had to present our proof of vaccination to eat in a restaurant yesterday. The rule seems to apply weekends-only.
 

mamalivindolce

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi James. I just walked from Porto to Tui (Spain) arrived yesterday….We’ve shown our vaccination cards maybe 3 times to lodging proprietors… we pre-booked hotels/apartments prior to leaving Florida. Everyone wears masks inside stores, cafes, etc. & outside while strolling pedestrian zones. I’m in Porrino now. I think our next hurdle will be when we leave Santiago via RyanAir to Frankfurt…..we’ll need to get Covid tests -have read/heard they are easy to get in Santiago before our flight … seems everyone is happy to have peregrinos on the Camino again! P.s. we have not stayed in any alberghe so I can’t tell you about their policies. Buen Camino
Hello everyone. Just an update: We flew on Ryan Air this AM (21 Sep 2021) to Frankfurt Hahn. We looked on Germany's Health Minister site & learned we did not need a COVID test - only our vaccination records. We didn't fill any additional paperwork either. Hope this helps.
 

Ghost Rydurrrr

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Oct 2021: Tui --> Santiago
Hi everyone, thanks for the updates and sharing your experiences. I had a couple of questions which I didn't see (or missed) and I'm hoping someone can help me out. In terms of flying into Portugal from the US, Portugal requires:
  • RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) - 72h before boarding, or
    Rapid Antigen Test - 48h before boarding, or
    a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate, or
    a valid Vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions.
I'm not from EU so can't get the EU digital covid certificate. I assume "a valid Vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country" means a country other than US or Portugal. So my options are the RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test. Does anyone know if the 72/48 hrs means I need to get pricked/swabbed 72/48 hrs before the flight or I need to have found out 72 hrs before the flight? Also, can I get the test done earlier so as not to have to worry about it? If I can get it done earlier, does it matter how much earlier?

Also, when getting testing before leaving Spain, how long does it take to get the results? If my flight was on a Saturday, but I don't finish until Thurs or Fri, will that be enough time to get tested in Santiago?

Thanks in advance...
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Hi everyone, thanks for the updates and sharing your experiences. I had a couple of questions which I didn't see (or missed) and I'm hoping someone can help me out. In terms of flying into Portugal from the US, Portugal requires:
  • RT-PCR Test (or similar NAAT test) - 72h before boarding, or
    Rapid Antigen Test - 48h before boarding, or
    a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate, or
    a valid Vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions.
I'm not from EU so can't get the EU digital covid certificate. I assume "a valid Vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country" means a country other than US or Portugal. So my options are the RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test. Does anyone know if the 72/48 hrs means I need to get pricked/swabbed 72/48 hrs before the flight or I need to have found out 72 hrs before the flight? Also, can I get the test done earlier so as not to have to worry about it? If I can get it done earlier, does it matter how much earlier?

Also, when getting testing before leaving Spain, how long does it take to get the results? If my flight was on a Saturday, but I don't finish until Thurs or Fri, will that be enough time to get tested in Santiago?

Thanks in advance...
I was coming into Portugal from Canada, but more or less the same rules applied. The test (in my case PCR) had to be done WITHIN 72 hours of travelling. In my case, I was flying to Portugal on Monday. I had my test done Friday morning, and the test results were emailed to me about 0400 Saturday morning. I printed out a copy. The airport check-in wanted to see that form and entered something in the computer when they saw it, when I checked in, in Canada, for Portugal. I took the paper along, but it was not asked for again, when entering Portugal at Lisbon Airport.

I can't speak for how the testing works in Spain, but I would guess similar to what happened to us in Portugal. Again, Canada was requiring a PCR test within 72 hours of departure. I got it done Saturday morning (about 40 hours before departure), and they had emailed me results as a PDF within about 3 hours. In that case I didn't have access to a printer, so I saved the PDF onto the desktop of my laptop. (Smart phone would work the same). I showed them that PDF at Lisbon airport when I checked in, and all was well.

I should add that in both directions, the Portuguese and then the Canadian government also needed me to fill out an online form with contact information for after my arrival, in case they needed to contact me about being exposed to someone contagious on the plane. So they wanted an address and/or a mobile phone number.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2020
As @Friend from Barquinha said, the test must be taken WITHIN 48/72 hours of your flight's departure. If you take the test any earlier than that, it will not be valid.

I recommend giving yourself a bit of leeway and not taking the test exactly 48/72 hours before the flight, because if the flight is delayed then your results could expire before you check in/board the plane.
 
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tsher09

Member
Past OR future Camino
Beginning of March (2019)
Hi all- hope this hasn’t been asked before. I’m a US citizen, with cdc card, flying into Porto from Frankfurt, but I’ve been in the EU 21 days. Anyone know if I still need a test prior to boarding? The website doesn’t clearly state and I know with Italy if I’ve been in the EU (over 14 days) a test isn’t required if vaxxed, and I can’t tell if there’s a similar caveat here.
Thanks!
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hi all- hope this hasn’t been asked before. I’m a US citizen, with cdc card, flying into Porto from Frankfurt, but I’ve been in the EU 21 days. Anyone know if I still need a test prior to boarding? The website doesn’t clearly state and I know with Italy if I’ve been in the EU (over 14 days) a test isn’t required if vaxxed, and I can’t tell if there’s a similar caveat here.
That's a unique combination of factors that has not been asked about before ☺️. It's also a good example where you can read official government websites all you want and you are none the wiser.

In this case, they either want to see a RT-PCR test (or similar NAAT test); or a rapid antigen test; or a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate; or a valid vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions [as of 17 September 2021].

Since you don't have an EU DCC and if you don't take a test as required you would have to have a "certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions". What does "under reciprocal conditions" even mean in practical terms??? Do the UK's NHS certificates qualify (perhaps)? The US CDC cards (unlikely)? Or does it refer to the 16 or so non-EU countries whose certificates are officially recognised by the European Commission and hence by Portugal, with reciprocity, and with neither the UK nor the USA among these countries (most likely meaning of this line)?

When is your flight due? I'd try to get reliable information from the airline staff at Frankfurt, or perhaps get a rapid antigen test for "just in case".
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
BTW, four days ago, Reuter reported the Portuguese Prime Minister Costa as announcing that, as of 1 October, digital certificates or negative tests will no longer be mandatory in hotels [or albergues] but will still be required for air or sea travel, or to attend major cultural or sporting events.

I think that we can already earmark this thread for closure as the need for daily Covid tests in Portugal (thread title!) will end within three days.

 

tsher09

Member
Past OR future Camino
Beginning of March (2019)
That's a unique combination of factors that has not been asked about before ☺️. It's also a good example where you can read official government websites all you want and you are none the wiser.

In this case, they either want to see a RT-PCR test (or similar NAAT test); or a rapid antigen test; or a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate; or a valid vaccination or recovery certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions [as of 17 September 2021].

Since you don't have an EU DCC and if you don't take a test as required you would have to have a "certificate issued by a third country, under reciprocal conditions". What does "under reciprocal conditions" even mean in practical terms??? Do the UK's NHS certificates qualify (perhaps)? The US CDC cards (unlikely)? Or does it refer to the 16 or so non-EU countries whose certificates are officially recognised by the European Commission and hence by Portugal, with reciprocity, and with neither the UK nor the USA among these countries (most likely meaning of this line)?

When is your flight due? I'd try to get reliable information from the airline staff at Frankfurt, or perhaps get a rapid antigen test for "just in case".
Yes, it’s the reciprocity that is complicated- and the airline won’t say for sure! Thanks!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
BTW, four days ago, Reuter reported the Portuguese Prime Minister Costa as announcing that, as of 1 October, digital certificates or negative tests will no longer be mandatory in hotels [or albergues]
or bars or restaurants
but will still be required for air or sea travel, or to attend major cultural or sporting events.
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
But keep your plans flexible--Portugal, more than many countries, has been poised for months to "turn on a dime" and make things more rigorous again if numbers go up. They monitor region-by-region for case increases, and turn on and off the restrictions for restaurants, bars etc. on this regional basis if the national team considers it necessary.

Bom caminho and good luck!
 

tsher09

Member
Past OR future Camino
Beginning of March (2019)
But keep your plans flexible--Portugal, more than many countries, has been poised for months to "turn on a dime" and make things more rigorous again if numbers go up. They monitor region-by-region for case increases, and turn on and off the restrictions for restaurants, bars etc. on this regional basis if the national team considers it necessary.

Bom caminho and good luck!
Thank you! Luckily it’ll be in less than a week so hopefully that saves me too much worry..
 

DaeDae

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Coastal first-timer
BTW, four days ago, Reuter reported the Portuguese Prime Minister Costa as announcing that, as of 1 October, digital certificates or negative tests will no longer be mandatory in hotels [or albergues] but will still be required for air or sea travel, or to attend major cultural or sporting events.

I think that we can already earmark this thread for closure as the need for daily Covid tests in Portugal (thread title!) will end within three days.

Did they lift the hotel restriction/requirment to test? I can't find anything on it
 

tsher09

Member
Past OR future Camino
Beginning of March (2019)
Did they lift the hotel restriction/requirment to test? I can't find anything on it
Yes! As of October 1 no masks are required either, except in hospitals and maybe public transport (most people were wearing them yesterday when I came in). Also, I had to fill out forms when coming from Germany (I’d been there two weeks but am American) and they wouldn’t confirm either way if I needed a test, so I did one, just in case. Then was never asked for it aside from uploading to the airline system.
Train strikes during the next two weeks, so reduced travel and warnings on train cancelations across Spain (and thereby Portugal), just an FYI.
 
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