Anyone Flown to Portugal Recently?

I’m heading to Spain, but entering through Portugal. The COVID entry requirements are not clear. The CDC and Travel Sherpa seem to indicate that the US CDC card is not considered proof of vaccination. But United Airlines app and website (I’m flying United) clearly states that it is accepted.

Any experience greatly appreciated!

A work colleague went to the Azores at the end of April and says “They accepted mine (whenever asked, which was extremely rare). The test to get back in was important. Necessary, and not easy to get. We had an in with the guy we rented the airbnb from, and he basically told us how to get to the front of the line.” At the actual airport he doesn’t think they checked… “Not that I recall. But I don’t remember. But you do go through customs where they ask you why you’re there and stuff… My vax card was tucked in my passport the whole time, and I really don’t remember anyone asking for it.”

Pretty sure he flew directly to Azores and I suppose they could be more lax there than elsewhere.

Yeah, the Azores is specifically a different set of entry requirements on all the websites. Thanks, though.

I am seeing the same responses on all the websites - Portugal does not officially accept the CDC card, like they officially accept a whole bunch of other EU and Non EU certificates. However, the US airline carriers are saying they accept it and do not require a test for boarding - it’s on United’s website, their app, and was confirmed by the person I spoke with last night. So the risk is that someone in Portugal asks for proof of a negative test and won’t accept the CDC card. I have not heard of that happening much, if at all, and the airlines would not continue with their policy if whole planes full of US travelers were being turned away. But most people who write about it decide to have the test anyway, just in case. I’m sure the great majority of people just get on the plane and follow what United says, and don’t even question.

Thanks for posting this. I am headed to Portugal and Spain soon and I had no idea about the CDC card possibly being insufficient! I did find a recent Bloomberg article from May discussing it: Bloomberg - Are you a robot? .

I am also interested to hear anyone’s recent experience.

Yes, I saw that one as well. We’re doing what the author and friends ended up doing, I think.

Flying to Lisbon next week. I’m under the assumption that the CDC card with booster at least 14 days prior is enough. Friends in Portugal have confirmed. Getting a Covid test prior to return is important, but can be done at any pharmacy. Even if your CDC card is rejected in Lisbon, you can pay for a test on the spot. Couple hundred Euros however. The Azores and Madeira have different rules. But you can still get on the spot tests there.

Uploaded my vaccination info on the United site. After that, haven’t needed to show it to anyone.

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Sarah, are you staying for awhile in Lisbon? When deplaning, the instructions were a bit confusing. We were directed to a secondary passport control station and not the main large one. Some people got confused and went into the main area through security and got trapped in the wrong place.

I’m not going to Lisbon at all, not even the airport. I’m flying into O Porto and going immediately to Galicia, Spain. But good info for the thread if someone else is arriving there.

I flew to Porto via Madrid two weeks ago. When leaving the USA I showed the CDC card without an issue. Coming back to the USA I had to show a negative test (i think this just changed). When in Madrid and Porto I had no issues with my CDC card.

Thanks for that report. I think the airlines only care where your flight is landing after it leaves the US, and don’t look at where you might be going after that. So on a flight that went first to Madrid from the US would only evaluate entry requirements for Spain.

I think we’ll bring our eMed tests along just in case there’s an issue. I’d rather plan for the risk and not need it.

US never recognized the EU digital certificate, so EU doesn’t officially recognize the CDC card. I bounced around Italy/Spain/Portugal this Spring, and got an instant test performed at a local pharmacy before every flight. They asked to see the results of the test slightly more than half the time. On the other hand a photo of the CDC card on my phone was sufficient to enter restaurants and museums - though for all I know that might not be as necessary these days.

Whether the EU in general never recognized CDC cards, Portugal is so far the only country in Europe I’ve encountered where Travel Sherpa says it’s not acceptable and the government website lists non-EU countries whose certification is accepted, with the US absent. So, while I wasn’t worried about France or Spain, for instance, I am a touch concerned for Portugal arrival.

The embassy website says you need a negative test COVID-19 Information - U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Portugal

No, it actually doesn’t.

It says “No specific guidance exists indicating if U.S. CDC vaccine card are accepted for proof of vaccination. As such U.S. Embassy Lisbon strongly recommends all U.S. citizens travelling from the United States to Portugal follow option 2, present a negative COVID 19 test before boarding.”

Found that first thing in my Googling. That is the language that sent me down this rabbit hole in the first place, and what caused me to start this thread, since it is not absolute and is in conflict with the guidance from my airline. Believe me, I spent hours reading and searching and found all the obvious websites myself before asking for real world experience here.

Spent 3 days is Lisbon. No one asked to see my card. That includes Belcanto. Going to Porto today.

True, strongly recommends. I’ll also assume it’s not real up to date.

Strikes me as mostly a CYA thing.

But when you think about the suggestion to “present a negative test before boarding,” to whom would you present it other than the airline? And if the airline is satisfied with the CDC card, which they have said they are, both on the phone and on the website/app, what is the point of the test? Are you going to insist the United agent look at it, too, because the embassy strongly recommends it? :wink: That’s why I wanted to know if anyone had had a Portuguese agent ask for it upon landing, which is where I see any risk existing.

No doubt your risk is at immigration. It’s the only reason to get one.

Yup. I am going to do an eMed proctored at home test the day before I leave, just in case. My husband, who is flying a day earlier with my stepson, thinks the risk is practically non-existent, so is going to take tests with him, but not do it unless there’s an issue. Suddenly I’m not so sorry we’re traveling separately. :slight_smile: