Coronavirus: Portugal travel advice this summer 2020

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
4 June 2020, Emma Donaldson

In the wake of the coronavirus health crisis, many European countries have been considering the options and outlining their plans regarding tourism this summer. Portugal has recently shared some of its potential plans but has also made it clear that the country won’t be open to everyone in the initial stages. Portugal has been hailed for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with considerably less cases and deaths than in neighbouring countries. But like so many others, its tourism-dependent economy has suffered as a result of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. However, in a bid to salvage the summer season, options such as “travel corridors” could be on the cards. So, whether you’re thinking of hitting the beach or spending some time in your holiday home, let’s see if going to Portugal will be an option this summer.

Who will be allowed to enter Portugal for tourism purposes?

In these early stages of reopening after the coronavirus crisis, countries are specifying rules about which travellers will be able to visit their countries, mainly based on the current health situation in given areas. However, the approach outlined by the Portuguese government is different in several aspects. There will be no 14-day quarantine for tourists and access to the country includes Schengen Area countries with the exception of Spain and Italy. Portugal’s airports will also be open to the USA, Canada, Brazil, as well as other countries with the Portuguese language. The UK is also in discussion with Portugal to consider the introduction of direct “travel corridors”, a potential agreement to allow tourists entry into the country and return to the UK without quarantine restrictions.

Are beaches, hotels and restaurants open in Portugal?

More than a third of hotels in the Algarve, one of Portugal’s most popular area for tourists and holiday homes, have opened their doors already, with 75 per cent expected to be open by next month, along with beaches which will be opened on 6th June. Such public bathing areas will be subject to strict safety measures and capacity will be limited. Restaurants and cafés are also open, but with strict social distancing guidelines and a maximum capacity of 50% for now.

Health and safety measures

Many countries are still advising against all but essential travel and encouraging holidays at home. But if travelling in Portugal is still an option, like many other countries, Portugal also has strict measures in place that you should take into account before planning a trip to or within the country. Large gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, face masks are compulsory on public transport and in enclosed spaces, as well as being highly recommend for other public outings. In order to prevent the spread of the virus and the possibility of infection, all services should also carry out hygiene and sanitisation measures according to the indications of the Directorate-General for Health. More information on the measures provided by the Portuguese tourist board can be consulted here.

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