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PCR testing for travel to Portugal

PCR testing for travel to Portugal

If you plan to travel over the coming months, it is more likely than not, that you will need to show a negative Covid 19 test as will your children.

PLEASE NOTE the rules on testing children in the UK have changed since I wrote this post on 11th May. This post is accurate as I understand it on Friday 21st May. Please triple check the position yourself.

What I have personally booked is at the bottom of this post.

If you plan to travel to Portugal, currently (May 2021) you will need to show a negative Covid 19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure time often called a Fit to Fly Certificate. This applies to all passengers excluding those up to 24 months of age.

UK Gov website says up to the age of 2.

Visit Portugal states ‘On all flights, passengers must present proof of a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time, with the exception of children who have not reached 24 months of age.’

On Returning to England / Scotland from Portugal (source

  • you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form
  • take a Covid test in Portugal and have a negative result in the 3 days before your return journey (it appears that this can be a Lateral Flow test)
  • Children Under 11 do not need to book these tests.

  • book a day 2 Covid test in England (PCR)
  • Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test

PLEASE NOTE – there are different testing requirements for the Day 2 tests in England than the Fit to Fly tests going out and not all companies do both tests!

This means for a family of 5 like ours it is going to be a very expensive undertaking, involving a minimum of 10 PCR tests! 5 on the way out and 5 when we are home. You have to really want to go on holiday.

So where are the best places to book a PCR test?

Organise Yourself

In person appointments – 24hr results

Often the most expensive but potentially the least risky. There is no risk in the test not arriving, or the courier loosing the test. It’s all done close to site and many confirm the test will be back the same day.

Dam Health do a Fit to Fly Certificate at lots of test centres across the Country for £99pp which seems significantly less than lots of other providers I’ve found. Dam Health do not currently do the two day testing.

PLUS as of 17th May they will be launching a Kids Go Free offer for testing. Offer is a free test for every child aged 17 or under with a paying adult. Prices start from £99pp for Portugal.

In person appointments – next day results

Attend a site across the UK to have a test and the results should be back to you the next day by 10pm.

Can be cheaper I’ve found tests for £80pp but that could be a long wait to worry about the results. – say they start from £50 but that’s not test to fly.

DAY 2 PCR Tests (Green List tests)

The UK Government requires travellers arriving from ‘green countries’ to take a Covid-19 PCR test on Day 2 after arriving in England.

You order the test, they send 1 complete CE marked nose/throat sample collection kit to the comfort of your home.

With your Package Holiday Company

TUI and First Choice have both announced cheap testing from £20pp but they will have factored this into the cost of their holidays.

Tui is offering a lateral flow, also known as an antigen test, that you can take before your trip and a PCR test you’ll take a couple of days after your return, including delivery, for just £20.

Portugal will still require a pre-departure PCR test but that only brings the total package for ‘green list’ countries up to £60 – much cheaper than we’ve seen elsewhere

It does make for an easier booking system and I think both TUI and First Choice will want to ensure your pre-departure tests go through so that you can take their holiday.

Easyjet has also announced cheaper testing for their holiday packages, rather than flights with Randox Health, with home tests available for £60 instead of £120. It’s important to make sure that your destination accepts home tests. Portugal have not yet confirmed this,

Cathy from Mummy Travels reports that Sunvil are soon to offer free PCR testing on their package holidays to Alentego in Portugal but this hasn’t made their website as at 12/5/21.

With your Flight Company


To help make it cheaper to travel with confidence this summer, UK customers will receive up to 50% off when they purchase a Randox testing kit. Click here to pay only £60 for your Randox pre-departure home testing kit with promo code RYANHTK21. Click here to pay only £120 for your combined Day 2 & Day 8 Randox home testing kit with promo code RYAND2821.

What tests I have booked for my family of 2 adults and children aged 10,9,9

5 PCR tests with DAM Health for a Fit to Fly Certificate £300 (Buy 1 adult get 1 free so paid for 3 people)

2 Lateral Flow tests with Qured to be taken to Portugal with us and to be done by video call so certificate can be obtained for flight back to the UK. [Only booked for the adults as Children Under 11 do not need to book these tests [position as at 21/5/2021]] Cost £39 each

5 PCR tests with Dante Labs on Day 2 of return to the UK. I had booked 2 for the adults but the rules have changed and 3 more are needed for the children as Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test. Cost £58 each.

Why not PIN this post about Where to get PCR tests for travel to Portugal

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