Bom dia a todos - we have made it home to Portugal. As promised here are a few observations from our trip from the UK by ferry to Spain then the drive to central PT this week.
PCR tests - we used Assured Screening at their West Bromwich test centre. We opted for the next day results, guaranteed by 8pm the day after the test. At 8pm we were still nervously waiting the results and certificate, so we fired off a 'where are my results?' request. Miraculously the results and certificates were in our emails within 10 mins. Although we didn't need the pcr test for Spain, we theoretically needed it for entry to PT.
Portsmouth to Santander on the Galicia - having done this crossing for many years we were looking forward to going on this new ferry. We were so disappointed. At check-in only a visual check to see if we were healthy and check that we had our passender locator forms required for entry to Spain. Bearing in mind that the boat is not at full passenger capacity there appears to be woefully inadequate catering facilities. Queues for meals were up to 20mins. Cabins are slightly smaller. One good thing is the deck area for walking and sitting has improved. Although masks were worn in all public areas and hand sanitiser was readily available, unfortunately social distancing seemed to have gone out the window.
Disembarking, immigration and border control - whilst in the garage the BF staff collected our passenger locator forms. Disembarking took 45mins, the queue for passport checking/immigration control also took longer than usual. As another forum member said recently, the Immigration Officers have a stamp and are ready to use it! Saying that, they appeared to be sharing one stamp per booth. The five lanes of cars/vans/campers coming out of immigration control then filed down to one lane for border control. The Spanish policia were also present and had pulled aside cars for inspection. It appeared that the Border guards were asking all pet owners to go through goods to declare plus 1 in 10 vehicles for further inspection. We were not stopped but it took a total of 1hour 45 mins to leave the port - double the pre-Brexit time.
The journey through Spain went smoothly and at Vila Formoso there were no border restrictions, SEF or GNR present.
All in all it took a longer time to central PT but thankfully it was a non-eventful journey.
Hope this assists and happy to address any follow-up questions.
Paul and Louise, at our kitchen table in Portugal 😎🤓