My husband and I (both 3x vaccinated) have a trip booked on TAP Portugal for a trip to the UK with a stopover in Lisbon this weekend. Last month we both had mild covid infections.

Portugal requires a pre-departure PCR or Antigen test for boarding (presuming test performed in the US is valid). UK Requires a Day 2 Antigen (or PCR) test. US Requires a pre-departure test to return home.

I'm concerned about testing positive on any of these tests due to our recent infection.

I'm also concerned about getting a certificate of recent recovery because it seems Portugal only accepts an EU Digital covid recovery certificate and I don't know if I would be able to get even a US recovery certificate since we don't have proof of the original positive results because we used at-home tests. The UK doesn't seem to allow recovery certificates at all and that testing positive on the Day 2 test means mandatory quarantine.

I didn't realize earlier how long someone could test positive after recovery and my husband took another at home test last night and it still showed up very faintly positive (very faint pink line). I don't know how deterministic these tests are and whether or not this would count as a positive or not.

Does this trip seem too risky to take at this point?

  • 1
    Any line within the time limit counts as positive normally, and antigen/lateral flow tests are considered good indicators of infectiousness - you should not travel if testing positive on those as you may pass it on. The UK doesn't actually have simple rules for travellers - rules different for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However afaik none care about "recovery certificates" - all requirements are based on vaccination, testing and isolation.
    – CMaster
    Jan 12 at 16:20
  • 2
    Actually they're not a good indicator of infectiousness because they can't tell the difference between active virus and inactive (dead) virus, which is why people can test positive long after recovery. That's why recovery certificates are a thing and a quarantine period only lasts 10 days assuming no symptoms. This is universally accepted among the international medical community. I'm only clarifying this because I'm not irresponsible enough to travel when I'd be putting others at risk. Jan 12 at 16:45

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