Here is everything you need to know if you contract Covid-19 in Portugal and what rules you need to follow.
Who are suspected Covid-19 patients?
All people who develop a clinical picture suggestive of acute respiratory infection, with at least one of the following symptoms: persistent coughing or a worsening of a usual cough associated with headache or myalgia, or fever (≥ 38.0°C with no other attributable cause), or respiratory difficulties, total or partial loss of smell (anosmia) or disturbance or impairment of taste.
What to do if you have symptoms?
People who do not suspect that they have Covid-19 must contact their health centre in advance by phone or email. However, in case of the need for the advice of a health professional, they can go to health centres, since they have separate areas for patients with Covid-19.
Anyone who suspects that they have Covid-19 should contact SNS24.
In case of emergency, contact 112
Why is it important to get tested?
A test allows people to be able to confirm whether or not they are infected. This can help them get the care they need, but also take steps (such as isolation) not to infect others.
What types of tests are there?
Molecular Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (TAAN): are the reference method for diagnosis and confirm the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for Covid-19. They are made with samples collected through a swab from the nose and/or throat region. Your results must be known within 24 hours of the request. These include conventional, real-time RT-PCR tests and rapid nucleic acid amplification tests.
Rapid Antigen Tests (TRAg): are tests whose results are known after 15 to 30 minutes. They should be used within the first five days of symptoms (inclusive) in patients without admission criteria, in patients with symptoms and admission criteria, due to unavailability of molecular tests or lack of timely response, and in patients without symptoms and who had a high-risk contact. Can be made in pharmacies.
Self-tests: these are rapid antigen tests that can be done by anyone. Its use does not replace, but complements, the use of other laboratory tests for SARS-CoV2, so these tests should not be considered as diagnostic tests in people with suspected infection (symptomatic people) or people with contacts with confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Serological tests: are those that assess whether the person has specific antibodies for Covid-19. These are not used for diagnosing the disease.
Who should take the test?
People with suspected of having Covid-19, who have either developed symptoms compatible with the disease, or have been in contact with people with a positive case.
What should the person who is referred to take the test do?
The patient, or his representative, after receiving the request for the Covid-19 test must contact the laboratory/pharmacy where they intends to perform the test and schedule it by telephone.
Tests should be performed as soon as possible after contact with a positive case, ideally by the 3rd day.
How much isolation time should you complete if you have Covid-19?
The Directorate-General of Health has reduced the isolation period from 10 to seven days for those who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, provided they have no symptoms.
The isolation period for high-risk contacts will also be reduced to seven days (starting on January 10).
However, high-risk contacts who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have already taken the booster dose do not need to comply with isolation, even if they cohabit with a positive case.
People in recovery do not need to be isolated either.
Is a negative test necessary after isolation?
Asymptomatic positive cases, as well as those who develop only mild symptoms, do not need a negative test at the end of the isolation period.
Patients with moderate or severe symptoms, who maintain isolation for 10 days, also no longer need a test to be discharged.
High-risk contacts can only leave quarantine with a negative test on the 7th day.