I am a second year masters student who will be traveling to the Czech Republic in mid-September in order to continue my studies. All flights have layovers somewhere, and the cheapest/fastest flight I can find has a layover in Portugal. I will have a valid study visa for the Czech Republic, and will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Czech Republic, and to show this before entering the country.

I have visited the websites of the Portugese Embassy in the U.S., the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Embassy in Portugal to see if there is specific guidance for traveling into Portugal in order to continue on to a third destination, but cannot find information on whether it is possible to simply travel through the country. The websites say that only "essential" travel is permitted, which includes traveling for the purpose of studies (though I won't be studying in Portugal), and that I must have a negative COVID test in order to enter the country.

I will have a COVID test and will travel with my results (as long as they're negative of course! Otherwise will not travel), so I am hoping that it will be fine to travel through, as I will not leave the airport. But in these uncertain times, I want to be absolutely certain that I will be allowed to a) board the flight, and b) enter the airport to take my connecting flight, before I book. Any insider knowledge on how such cases are handled in Portugal, or recommendations on who to contact to have this question answered?

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    Unfortunately, in these uncertain times, not even the governments know what'll happen in the coming six weeks. So I'm afraid that we can only offer guesses and speculations, not absolute certainty. – TooTea Aug 3 '20 at 17:51

The Visit Portugal COVID page list the following rules which are currently in effect. Of course, these rules could change at any point as the situation progresses. (Bold emphasis is mine.)

Flights to and from Portugal Air travel to and from Portugal is allowed to:

  • European Union countries;
  • Schengen Associated Countries - Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland – and the United Kingdom;
  • Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.

Flights to and from other destinations will only be permitted for essential travel. “Essential travel” is defined as trips allowing the transit, entry into and departure from Portugal for the following persons:

  • citizens of a European Union member state, Schengen Associated countries and their family members;
  • citizens repatriated through consular assistance;
  • third-country nationals travelling for professional purposes, study, family reunions, health and humanitarian reasons and under the reciprocity principle.

On essential journeys, passengers must present a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before departure time. This test is not asked in Portugal for those who are in transit and do not have to leave the airport facilities.

In short, as someone who is transiting through Portugal from a non-allowed/other destination for the essential purpose of studying, you are permitted to transit through Portugal. Portugal does not require any COVID-19 testing if you do not leave the airport.

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