Portugal opens to medical travel

Portugal has opened to tourists and medical tourists from most European countries, and the UK. Could this give the country’s nascent medical tourism sector a once in a lifetime opportunity to take business from a neighbour and rival Spain?

Travellers from most EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK can make all types of visits to Portugal, including non-essential visits.

But travel from countries with coronavirus rates above 500 cases per 100,000 residents during the last 14 days remain restricted to essential trips, including:

  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden

Restrictions also remain on non-European countries including USA, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Under the rules, all passengers above two years old heading to the country still have to present a negative PCR Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before embarking.

For medical and health tourism Portugal is one of the few countries that people from England and the other three UK countries are allowed to travel to without having to quarantine on their return.

Some two million UK visitors went to Portugal annually before Covid-19 hit.

Portugal is mainly a destination for health tourism and to a lesser extent dental and cosmetic surgery.