First Choice holidays to mainland Portugal and Madeira are likely to start up again in the next few weeks.

Once the government advice changes, you’ll be able to go on holiday to mainland Portugal and Madeira with First Choice again. You’ll find everything you need to know about your holiday right here, from social distancing to face masks. There’s no doubt your getaway will be a little different, as we all get used to the new normal. But, here at First Choice, we’re working our flip flops off to make sure you still have a fantastic time. It’s all part of our Holiday Promise, which is designed to give you complete peace of mind.

We’ve got your back

COVID Cover, which you can use as an add-on to your usual travel insurance, is included as standard on all First Choice holidays departing up to the end of April 2021. It means you can change your booking for free if you get COVID-19 before your holiday or if you’re officially required to isolate prior to your travel dates. This also applies if your local area goes into lockdown over the dates you are due to depart. A Holiday to Home insurance policy is also part of the package. This sorts you out for medical assistance abroad, testing costs and a flight home for treatment if you need it. T&Cs apply.

On your flight and at your hotel

Flights for most First Choice holidays are with TUI, our sister company. They’ve got a heap of new measures in place to keep you safe. We’re talking regular deep-cleaning, online check-in and rules around face masks. We’re keeping a close eye on our hotels, too, to make sure they’re squeaky-clean and properly prepped before re-opening their doors. Find out more about what to expect on your First Choice holiday.


  • COVID Cover* included
  • First Choice quality standards guaranteed
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Quarantine-free destinations only
  • Flexible options if your holiday can’t go ahead

Find out more about our promise, as well as everything we’re doing to keep you safe, on our Travel With Confidence hub.

Here are the main things you need to be aware of.

Social distancing distance 2 metres.
Face mask requirements for adults MAINLAND PORTUGAL

Face masks are mandatory on public transport and in all enclosed spaces for everyone over the age of 10.


Face masks are mandatory on public transport and in indoor and outdoor enclosed spaces. The rules apply to everyone over the age of 10. You won’t have to wear a mask while driving, exercising, walking in forest and mountain areas, or on the beach.

Face mask requirements for children Face masks are mandatory for everyone aged 10 years and over.
Am I required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form? MADEIRA

• Everyone over the age of 12 needs to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before travelling to Madeira.
• For more information on Madeira’s entry requirements, see the tourist board’s website. And for more on PCR tests, see the UK government’s guide.
• It’s your responsibility to take the right tests to meet the entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to.
• If you need a hand sorting it out, we’ve teamed up with a global healthcare partner, to help you with COVID-19 testing for your holiday. See here for a more detailed, step-by-step guide.
• You can expect to undergo a health screening and a temperature check when you land at the airport.
• If your temperature reads 38oC or higher, or you have any visible symptoms, you may be required to take a free COVID-19 test at the airport.
• Until you get your test results back, you must self-isolate in your hotel room. The results usually come back within 12 hours.

• You’ll need to complete a Passenger Locator Form between 12 to 48 hours before departure. If you don’t, you won’t be able to travel.
• Everyone, including children, needs to complete a PLF form. Parents or guardians can fill out and sign on an infant or child’s behalf.
• You can fill out and submit the form here.
• You should upload your test results to your Passenger Locator Form, including your testing date, name and proof of a negative result.
• Once completed, you’ll get a confirmation email, which you’ll need to bring with you to the airport.

Other need-to-knows A group of more than 20 people is deemed to be a gathering, except for in the Lisbon region, where a group of more than 10 people is deemed to be a gathering.

Here’s what you can expect while you’re out and about in Portugal.

Beaches Open.
• There’s a traffic light system in place, which indicates if there’s enough space to allow for more people on the beach.
• The colour of the flag that’s flying above the beach represents how much room there is available.
• You can also see how much room is available on the beach you want to visit by using the Info Praia App.
• You can download it from the Apple Store or Google Play, depending on which kind of device you use.
• Loungers and parasols on beaches are set up in accordance with social distancing rules.
Restaurants and bars Restaurants are open, however capacity is reduced. Nightclubs are closed.
Sights Open with limitations.
Supermarkets Open. Face masks are mandatory.
Other facilities Open with restrictions. Please check ahead of your visit. Ports and marinas are currently closed. There’s a limited capacity in protected areas and camping areas, of up to 50%.

Here’s the key information on getting to Portugal.

Flights with First Choice Check in for your flight on the First Choice or First Choice App or online. Check-in opens 24 hours before your flight, and closes three hours before departure. You’ll be asked to certify that you’re fit to travel.

Here are your options for travelling within Portugal.

Car hire Permitted, but hire car capacity is reduced to two thirds of the usual maximum vehicle capacity.
Public transport • There are capacity restrictions on buses and boats.
• In taxis, the front seats are reserved for the driver, and passengers cannot take up more than two thirds of the remaining seats in the vehicle.
• Face masks are required for anyone over 10 years old.
Hiking Permitted.
Biking Permitted.

For more information, take a look at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice on travelling to Portugal.

Read the full FCDO advice here.


Just so you know, the information on this page is updated during office hours, Monday to Friday. You’ll always find the latest information on our 24/7 Travel Alert page.