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COVID Portugal PRC test or Antigen?

Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am curious what Portugal requires at the moment: PRC or antigen test for Americans?
Seems like the Antigen would be faster and cheaper to do right?
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Either. I'd go for the antigen personally ; not just for cost and quickness, but also because of the much lower risk of a false positive.
 

Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Either. I'd go for the antigen personally ; not just for cost and quickness, but also because of the much lower risk of a false positive.
That is interesting. Good to be aware. I heard about these false positives too but i thought it was more prevalent with antigen rapid test.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There's a chance of a false negative with the antigen, but the most likely scenarios for that would be either someone effectively immune and so highly unlikely to be dangerous to others ; or someone extremely vulnerable and unable to develop a detectable antibody response, but then such a person would likely be sick as a dog with the active disease.
 

Pilgrim_95

Young Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
The problem with antigens in Europe is that there is some EU approved list of antigen tests and their required specificity etc... So make sure all the required information is there on the travel certification. In the worst case, if you can get on the plane and the border control in Portugal wont like the test, they allow you to retake a test in Portugal. Good thing about PCRs is that once it says PCR you are good to go. I took a travel test in the UK last wednesday before my flight and the price was 80 pounds for PCR in comparison to 50 for the antigen.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
That is interesting. Good to be aware. I heard about these false positives too but i thought it was more prevalent with antigen rapid test.
What you get with the RAT (my partner does them where we live in a Public Health mobile unit) is 100% accuracy with a *negative*. They do have a higher false positive rate than the PCR tests, but are more reliable for *negative* than the PCR (oddly).
The reason for high rates of false positives with the RAT is that -- at least in some jurisdictions a *faint* line has to be read as a suspected positive -- even though on re-testing with PCR those are almost always negatives.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
No self-tests. From https://reopen.europa.eu/en/from-to/OTC/PRT for travelling from outside of the EU to Portugal:

All authorised travellers are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test.​
Accepted tests: PCR (taken within 72 hours prior to departure), or Rapid Antigen Test (taken within 48 hours prior to departure).​
Only Rapid Antigen Tests that are on the list agreed by the European Union Health Committee are allowed. Passengers who present tests that do not comply with the requirements must undergo a new test on arrival, at their own expenses, and must wait in a designated place inside the airport, until the result is notified.​
 
Last edited:

jcat

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016
I will be connecting in Lisbon for an October flight to Madrid. I am flying on TAP Portugal Airlines, booked on the United Website with Star Alliance miles. This is what my reservation tells me I need for my connection. It mentions three types of tests: RT-PCR, NAAT, and Antigen.
I bet things will change by October, so I'm not trying to make sense of things yet.
(Copy and Pasted from my reservation on United website)
-------‐----------------
"Transit
Lisbon, PT

Test type
RT-PCR

Timing
Test must be taken no more than 72 hours before your departure from San Francisco (SFO)

Additional requirements

  • All passengers entering or transiting Portugal will need to show either a negative result from a COVID-19 NAAT test taken at most 72 hours before departure or a negative result from an Antigen test taken at most 24 hours before departure from your first embarkation point.
  • All arriving passengers are subject to medical screening and quarantine."
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
All passengers entering or transiting Portugal will need to show either a negative result from a COVID-19 NAAT test taken at most 72 hours before departure or a negative result from an Antigen test taken at most 24 hours before departure from your first embarkation point.
  • All arriving passengers are subject to medical screening and quarantine.
Do they clarify if "subject medical screening and quarantine" means that one must quarantine? That's how I read it. To be subject to something is to be required to do it.

I think many pilgrims think that that one thing won't be required of them and that they can start walking as soon as they are out of customs...
 

Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The problem with antigens in Europe is that there is some EU approved list of antigen tests and their required specificity etc... So make sure all the required information is there on the travel certification. In the worst case, if you can get on the plane and the border control in Portugal wont like the test, they allow you to retake a test in Portugal. Good thing about PCRs is that once it says PCR you are good to go. I took a travel test in the UK last wednesday before my flight and the price was 80 pounds for PCR in comparison to 50 for the antigen.
That is not a big difference.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I will be connecting in Lisbon for an October flight to Madrid. I am flying on TAP Portugal Airlines, booked on the United Website with Star Alliance miles. This is what my reservation tells me I need for my connection. It mentions three types of tests: RT-PCR, NAAT, and Antigen.
I bet things will change by October, so I'm not trying to make sense of things yet.
(Copy and Pasted from my reservation on United website)

Transit
Lisbon, PT

Test type
RT-PCR

Timing
Test must be taken no more than 72 hours before your departure from San Francisco (SFO)

Additional requirements

  • All passengers entering or transiting Portugal will need to show either a negative result from a COVID-19 NAAT test taken at most 72 hours before departure or a negative result from an Antigen test taken at most 24 hours before departure from your first embarkation point.
  • All arriving passengers are subject to medical screening and quarantine.
I agree and have said the same many times. Unless you are leaving soon don't sweat it. I am going to leave on October 10th. I will start to worry about it October 1st.
 

WanderingBrian

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
No self-tests. From https://reopen.europa.eu/en/from-to/OTC/PRT for travelling from outside of the EU to Portugal:

All authorised travellers are subject to the requirement for a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test.​
Accepted tests: PCR (taken within 72 hours prior to departure), or Rapid Antigen Test (taken within 24 hours prior to departure).​
Only Rapid Antigen Tests that are on the list agreed by the European Union Health Committee are allowed. Passengers who present tests that do not comply with the requirements must undergo a new test on arrival, at their own expenses, and must wait in a designated place inside the airport, until the result is notified.​
I don't see any info where it says a self-test is excluded. From the EUHC:

A common list of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests that are considered appropriate for
use in the context of the situations described in the Council Recommendation, that are
in line with countries’ testing strategies and that:
a. carry CE marking;
b. meet the minimum performance requirements of ≥ 90% sensitivity and ≥ 97%
specificity; and
c. have been validated by at least one Member State as being appropriate for their
use in the context of COVID-19, providing details on the methodology and
results of such studies, such as the sample type used for validation, the setting
in which the use of the test was assessed, and whether any difficulties occurred
as regards the required sensitivity criteria or other performance elements.

The US Embassy in Portugal states:
Beginning June 15, non-essential (i.e. tourist travel) from the United States to mainland Portugal is permitted for travelers with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Except for children 24 months old and under, every passenger must submit a negative SARSCoV-2 lab result of a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), for example a PCR test, performed in the last 72 hours or a rapid antigen test (TRAg), performed within 24 hours of boarding.


Am I missing something?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I don't see any info where it says a self-test is excluded.
Well, the last time I saw it was this morning while I was in a waiting room and idly scrolling through the French government's TousAntiCovid app and after having entered "Espagne" into an empty search field and then got transferred to diplomatic.gouv.fr where it says that if I want to travel to Spain and I am not duly vaccinated and I have not recovered from Covid-19 illness during the last 6 months I need to have the negative test result of either a NAAT test (such as RT-PCR and a range of others) or of an antigen test that is included in the European Commission's list of approved antigen tests, with a link to the list provided. And then it says: Saliva tests where the sample is not taken in a lab but at home do not allow to travel to Spain, also not the "rapid tests" done in a pharmacy that do not provide you with a written test result. The document about a traveller's negative antigen test result has to include the number of the passport or other ID of the traveller.

Now someone may say that's what the French government says about the requirements of a document for a negative rapid antigen test result for a trip to Spain, show me the Spanish government's website that says the same.

Upon which I would wonder whether there is an antigen self-test on the Commission's list or I would pivot into my cynical mode and think: What does it matter. There's no control anyway.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
after having entered "Espagne" into an empty search field
I also entered "Portugal". Here the entry is shorter than the one for Spain. It says (for travellers from EU+ and UK who are all entitled to non-essential trips to Portugal): a negative PCR test during the 72 hours before boarding; or an antigen test (TAAN, TRAg) performed by a lab and done during the 48 hours before boarding. Self-tests are not accepted.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
And then of course I have it in the back of my mind that I had read this earlier, possibly in Spanish. For example, the Spanish government published something in their Official Gazette on 16 June 2021 about NAAT tests and rapid antigen tests and travelling with the EU and it says: En ambos casos, las pruebas deberán haber sido realizadas por profesionales de la salud o por personal cualificado. In both cases, the tests have to be performed by health care professionals or by qualified staff.
 

deg333

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances 2001, 2003
from flytap.com

Passengers entering or transiting thru Portugal must present proof of testing for the screening of SARS-CoV-2 with a negative result, or they will be denied boarding. (including Portuguese citizens, residing in Portugal and their families):

  • NAAT - Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (RT-PCR, NEAR, TMA, LAMP, HDA, CRISPR, SDA, etc), performed within 72 hours prior to the time of departure on the 1st embarkation point,
    OR
  • An antigen test (TRAg) performed within 48 hours prior to the time of departure on the 1st embarkation point.
Exceptions: Children who have not completed 12 yrs.
 

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