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PCR test required for Portugal entry

Portugal's entry requirements are in place through July 25th at which time there will be an update. I am trying to find if Portugal will accept the results of a PCR test taken within 3 days before departure like the US entry requirement. Or is it strictly 72 hours or less? My flight to Lisbon is a Friday in August at 7:55 pm. There are numerous free testing sites near me for people needing a test to travel but the last appointment offered is 4 pm. The day's tests are then taken to a lab late in the day for evaluation. A Tuesday 4pm appointment would be more than 72 hours (which is within the 3-day time frame and acceptable for returning to the US). A Wednesday morning appointment does not guarantee results are provided in time before a Friday 7:55 pm departure. The Delta Airlines Covid information web pages are difficult to use. Maybe I just need to wait until Portugal updates the entry requirements and hope my Vaccination Card will be sufficient. With the increase in cases I expect Portugal to keep the required PCR test in place for entry.

Posted by
50 posts

Hi pj,
I am looking at this as well as we are headed to Portugal in August. I am here in MN so I am not sure if this is available where you are in Illinois- do you have CVS nearby? CVS offers rapid testing at some of their testing facilities and we are supposed to be able to get responses within hours instead of days. The only trick is they only offer appointments 14 days in advance. This is what I am going to explore as we get closer to our travel date.

Today I came across something new Delta is also doing to ease re-entry back to the US.

I am also planning to use their test for re-entry back in to the US so that we don't have to figure out a testing facility at the end of our trip. Not sure if this is helpful, but thought I would offer it up.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you Amber. My local health department has free sites but the results can take 7 days! I spoke by phone with a Walgreens representative who simply read what I had already found on its web site. She added that results are sent within 3 days. That turn around time will not work for me if I test Wednesday morning. There is another option in my area that offers numerous sites for free PCR tests with an option for a $100 fee to get results within 24 hours. That representative was very helpful. He pointed out that testing at 10 AM or 4 PM makes no difference since the lab doesn't pick up all the day's tests until late in the day. So that is my option that provides less stress but also $100 less to contribute to Portugal's tourism/economy. I also found on the CVS web site that results are currently under 30 hours. That is promising! Turn around time for results fluctuates depending on the number of tests administered each day. Right now cases are low in my county.
I wish you safe and happy travels.

Posted by
1767 posts

Since you don’t say where are you where I live it’s hard to tell you much but I can tell you that several urgent cares near me turn their PCR around test around very quickly the one closest to my house for example Will have your results in about 12 hours. You might try checking urgent cares

Posted by
12 posts

There are several urgent care sites near me but they require that the patient has symptoms. In my area urgent care is not for vaccinated people without symptoms needing a test to travel internationally. I think CVS Pharmacy will be the answer to my need for a quick turn around for results. Thank you Carol for your suggestion. Much appreciated.

Posted by
2483 posts

The current requirements are on the website of Portugal's Embassy in the United States:

As of right now, the 15 June regulation is still in place:

To enter Portugal, both Portuguese and foreign nationals must present
a negative RT-PCR test, done 72 hours before departing to Portugal, or
a Rapid Antigen Test, made 24 hours before. Children under 12 years
old are not require a test to enter Portugal.

So, a rapid antigen test is fine, as long as it is done 24 hours before departing for Portugal. In another thread with a similar question, a forum member stated she/he flew back to Portugal with a rapid antigen test done at Chicago O'Hare airport on the day of departure.

Keep an eye on the Portugal Embassy's website. It will supply you with the info you need, including changes to current protocols.

Posted by
984 posts

I returned back to Portugal the end of June. They were accepting the antigen tests then. Many airports are offering the tests and are accepted 48 hours before your flight. I did mine at O’hare before the flight. Results in 20 minutes. It worked great.

At this point a vaccination card from the US is not sufficient, but things change frequently.

Posted by
12 posts

For peace of mind, convenience, and cost, I plan to get the free PCR test at CVS pharmacy in advance rather than O’Hare airport’s $100 test. I’ve been monitoring the Embassy site for weeks in the hope that Portugal will take the US lead on the 3-day test window instead of 72 hours. I prefer to take $100 to spend in Portugal rather than on a test.

Posted by
22 posts

per Portugal embassy website:
Travel to Portugal
15 June 2021
Following the continuing evolution of the health situation in Portugal and in the USA, the Portuguese Government has authorized the resumption of non-essential travel between the two countries. As such, all travels are allowed once again, including for tourism reasons.

To enter Portugal, both Portuguese and foreign nationals must present a negative RT-PCR test, done 72 hours before departing to Portugal, or a Rapid Antigen Test, made 24 hours before. Children under 12 years old are not require a test to enter Portugal.

Citizens from European Union Member States may use the EU Digital Certificate, instead of the negative covid test, as proof that they have been vaccinated. In order to get this certificate, citizens have to contact their respective national health authorities.