Press "Enter" to skip to content

Covid-19: Passengers from Madeira and Azores Travelling to the Mainland Exempt from Negative TRag Test

Passengers travelling from the Azores and Madeira to the Portuguese mainland are exempt from submitting either a negative TRag (antigen test), or nucleic acid amplification test (TAAN) from tomorrow, the 1st of December. 

Last Thursday, in the announcement of the new measures defined by the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, stated that, from the 1st of December,  “that mandatory testing on entry into the national territory of all passengers, no matter their nationality, or where they travelled from.”

Subsequently, the Government released a statement specifying that the requirement of a negative test applies to “all flights to mainland Portugal,” which excludes the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.

The Resolution that regulates the declaration of a ‘State of Calamity’ within the scope of the pandemic, published on Saturday in the Diário da República, determines in its article 19, the rules applicable to entry into national territory by air, in matters of testing and temperature control, but number 1 of that article defines the conditions for all passengers on flights with their final destination or stopover being in mainland Portugal, that is, which would have also have applied to passengers originating from the Azores and Madeira.

“Airlines should only allow passengers to board flights whose destination or stopover is in mainland Portugal upon presentation, at the time of departure, of proof of laboratory performance of the nucleic acid amplification test (TAAN) or rapid antigen test (TRAg) for screening for the SARS-CoV-2 infection with a negative result, carried out within 72 or 48 hours prior to the time of boarding, respectively.”

However, when questioned by the Lusa media agency, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) clarified that “the negative test is required for all passengers arriving on mainland territory from international flights, therefore, it does not apply to flights from the autonomous regions.” 

Lusa also questioned the PCM about the control of the negative test requirement in the case of passengers on flights originating abroad with direct destination or stopover at the airports in the Azores or Madeira,  who replied that “the provisions of article 23 of the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 157/2021 applies to any international flight whose final destination is mainland Portugal. In the case of flights whose destination is the Azores or Madeira archipelagos, this is a matter for the Governments of the autonomous regions to decide.”

The document published on Saturday in Diário da República provides for the exemption of the presentation of proof of negative test when a passenger holds a European Union covid-19 digital certificate, a digital certificate relating to a vaccine against Covid-19, or proof of vaccination attesting to the complete vaccination schedule, as determined by law, but this waiver does not apply until the 9th of January 2022, which results, at least until that date, of the need to present a negative test for all passengers traveling to Portugal.

Citizens with an EU digital Covid-19 recovery certificate can present this to the airlines instead of the negative test. 

In addition, “national citizens and foreign citizens legally resident in mainland territory, as well as diplomatic personnel located in Portugal who, exceptionally, do not carry proof” of the negative test, must perform and pay for one before they enter mainland Portugal. 

The obligation for unvaccinated citizens to take a negative test applies, “with the necessary adaptations, to land, sea and river borders.”

Furthermore, stated the Prime Minister any airline that transports passengers without a negative Covid-19 test, will incur fines of up to 20 thousand euros per person, and the Government will also “aggravate additional sanctions which could culminate in the suspension of flight licences of these companies into national territory.”

“It is the obligation of all airlines, at the time of ‘check-in,’ to only allow the boarding of flights to Portugal by people who prove that they have been properly tested, and are forbidden to fly anyone who does not hold a valid test certificate into Portugal. 

Concluding, António Costa,  said, “I would like to send a very clear message to the airlines: we consider that it is profoundly irresponsible to transport or allow people who are not tested to travel to Portugal.”  At the moment, the Mainland Government intends to keep its borders open. 

As of tomorrow, the 1st of December, Mainland Portugal will enter into  ‘A State of Calamity.’

Samantha Gannon

info at

Photo: Joana Sousa – JM

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.
Madeira Weekly