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Are kids exempt from Portugal’s UK quarantine with vaccinated adults?

We can avoid quarantine in Portugal as we’re fully vaccinated but can our children? We need to know before we lose money on our holiday booking

  • Portugal is currently on the Amber list but Madeira is to be moved to Green 
  • It is hoped the country will be open to all tourists later in the year 
  • We reveal whether young children need to be tested before travelling  

We are booked to go on holiday to Portgual in late August with our two children, aged 8 and 10, are trying to work out whether to cancel before we lose money

Under the current UK rules it is on the amber list and we would have to quarantine on our return home, but were given hope that this could be waived for fully vaccinated travellers and children would be exempted.

While we are waiting to see if that has come in, now Portugal has imposed a 14 day quarantine on Britons travelling there unless they are fully vaccinated.

My wife and I would have had both vaccine doses by that point, but does the new Portuguese rule include children under 12 or exempts them? We will soon be beyond the point of free cancellation.

There has been confusion over whether young children need to be tested before travelling 

Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: The constantly changing travel restrictions have created mass confusion for thousands of travellers desperate to get away.

Before we go into the specifics, one thing to note is that rather than outright cancelling it is worth speaking to those you have booked accomodation with – whether that is direct or via a travel agent – to see if free cancellation periods can be extended.

Many would rather offer people longer to get their money back – and have the guests they hope for – rather than see cancellations, so an extension of a free cancellation period can prove mutually beneficial. 

Whilst Portugal was moved to the Amber list after initially being one of the only countries on the Green list, Madeira, a popular region of the country, will be returned to the Green list on Wednesday this week.

As such, there has been a surge in interested for Madeira with TravelSuperMarket seeing a 133 per cent increase in bookings after the travel update.

Your family is also hoping the rest of Portugal will be moved back to the Green list by the end of August, or that rules are changed allowing those who are fully vaccinated to avoid quarantine for Amber list countries on return to the UK.

However, there is still much confusion about what the necessary tests are to enter countries on the Green list. 

Portugal has recently said unvaccinated Britons entering the country will have to quarantine for 14 days but there is no such need for those who have already had both jabs.

Whilst this is self-explanatory, you have found it more difficult to find out what rules your young children must adhere to – if any.

Before adults return to England, they must take a Covid-19 test, book and pay for a day two Covid-19 test, to be taken after arrival in England and complete a passenger locator form.

But what do children under the age of 12 have to do?  

Since holidaymakers were able to travel abroad, there has been confusion about testing

Since holidaymakers were able to travel abroad, there has been confusion about testing

A spokesperson for Portuguese Tourism replies: If you are travelling to Portugal mainland from the UK, all passengers from 12 years old are required to show a PCR test 72 hours before travelling or antigen lateral flow 48 hours before travelling at the check in desk at the airport.

In addition to testing, Portugal introduced from the 28 June 2021 until 11 July – and may be revised at any time, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation – a compulsory quarantine of 14 days to all passengers arriving from the UK with the exception to those who can show a proof of immunisation.

The proof of immunisation includes the NHS certificate that shows full vaccination from a EU authorized vaccine, made 14 days before travelling. The NHS App is accepted by the Portuguese Borders Authorities.

Children under 12 years of age do not need to quarantine or show a negative test, but children from 12 years old will need to do a Covid test and quarantine for 14 days.

If you are travelling to Madeira and Azores the quarantine measure does not apply.

Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: Ultimately, your two young children will be able to join you without being tested or quarantine.

As long as you and your wife are vaccinated and tested, you are all able to travel.

However, it will be worth checking the advice nearer the time of travel as it may well have changed by then.  

Hopefully by then, the PCR tests may also be cheaper to purchase – or even free on the NHS.  

As per all holidays, it will also be advisable to purchase travel insurance in advance of your trip to ensure you are covered should anything go wrong prior to travelling.  



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