‘On April 7 we married, on April 8 we wed to share the bed’ my mother explained to me.
Therefore, on April 7, the municipality, the province and the Dutch Royal House congratulated my parents on their 60th wedding anniversary! All these years, they have celebrated their wedding day on April 8, because on that day they said ‘I do’ in church and celebrated the wedding. The world has changed since 1961. And in the past year, it has changed a lot…

the diamond couple

Trip Portugal-Holland and back

Of course, I wanted to be in the Netherlands on that memorable day. But travelling in Covid-19 times is not easy, because the rules keep changing. Fortunately, I succeeded.
It turned out to be a stay with a smile and a tear: with a flowery anniversary and a comforting funeral. Life is and remains, also without Covid, unpredictable…

On the day of my departure, while waiting at the gate, I read the Portuguese Government had tightened, the previous day, the restrictions for travellers from the Netherlands. I had to go into quarantine for 14 days.
Well, it is what it is… At least I have time to gather some useful addresses and links for you…

Links and addresses for travellers to and from Portugal

• Are you allowed to travel?
To find out if I was allowed to travel from/to Portugal and the current conditions and restrictions, I checked this site:
visit portugal, English site with actual Covid-19 restrictions in Portugal and to/from Portugal

• Quarantine in Portugal
In case you need to go into quarantine: If you are officially resident in Portugal, you are allowed to self-isolate at home. That is what I am doing now. It is said that the Portuguese immigration authorities carry out checks on this.
The site visit portugal lists the countries that Portugal considers to be high-risk countries.
All travellers from high-risk countries must complete this form at sef travel.

• Getting tested in Portugal to obtain a certificate for travelling
To get tested and receive a travel certificate with a negative result, you can go to several labs.
A list of all laboratories can be found here on the Covid-19 page of the Portuguese Health department.
The same site offers the opportunity to search a lab by municipality:
Find a test lab by location. I filled it in like this:

The prices between the laboratories do not differ that much in Portugal. I paid €65 for a normal PCR test. For a fast PCR test, I heard amounts of ± €100. For the rapid test at the airport, with the result within 60 minutes, I paid €30.
You can also have a PCR test done at the airports. And travellers who arrive without a test result, have to have a test done there. This is the website of the lab at the airports in Portugal.

• What to bring with you when testing
Bring your ID and cash. I could only pay in cash at all the laboratories!
Check your details carefully before receiving your travel certificate.

• Before the flight
I flew back and forth with Transavia. They informed me really well, in preparation for the flight, via email and on their website. I expect that to be the case at other airlines too. Online check-in was not possible. So make sure you are at the airport well in advance (Although it is totally deserted at the airports). Everything is checked at the check-in desk; your travel document, your ticket and your negative test results (and other obligations). To enter Portugal I then had to fill in the ‘Passenger Location Card’. You can do this online here. It is best to do this after checking in because you also have to fill in your seat number.

• Check
In Amsterdam, I was not checked after arrival, but it seems to be done randomly. In Porto, there was an old-fashioned customs check before I could proceed to the arrivals hall. I don’t think that happens on every flight either. The same goes for the land border posts. Portugal has closed the border with Spain with the exception of a few controlled border crossings. But I read about some travellers who have been able to cross the border without being checked.

To end with a joke

To end this somewhat serious article in a humorous way, a funny anecdote:
While queuing for customs at Porto Airport, an elderly Portuguese couple caught my eye. They were walking around looking for something, completely focused on finding what they were looking for. They passed the queues, looked through a glass door into the transit hall. They pointed to the baggage carousel, which was apparently what they were looking for. They tried to open the glass door, but it was shut. Between two customs desks, a few people stood close together, still listening half to what the customs officer was saying to them. The older couple walked forward and, without saying a word, slipped through, in between the others. They got through without being checked! After our surprise, the Italian men in front of me and I burst out laughing.
It has some advantages not to change with the times.

23 april 2021


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