Coronavirus: Portugal travel guidelines

If you're thinking of travelling to Portugal this summer, consult our guide with advice on everything from flights to going to the beach.

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
22 June 2020, Marilia Poiares

The COVID-19 outbreak led governments to close their borders and take public health measures to protect the population. After months of confinement, safe travel to Portugal is finally possible this summer.

Currently as Portugal's state of calamity comes to an end, the country has set out similar general guidelines to those in neighbouring Spain, such as a social distance of 2 meters or the mandatory use of face masks in public transport, shops and supermarkets, public spaces, and in places with crowds.

Following the hygiene and health measures indicated by the General Directorate of Health, Portugal Tourism has also implemented the "Clean & Safe" seal, which allows greater safety and confidence in tourist accommodation, services and attractions, since it certifies the compliance of all the necessary health and hygiene standards.

These regulations apply throughout Portugal, although the regional governments of the Azores and Madeira have established some additional measures.

Travelling to and within Portugal

Within Portuguese territory itself, there are no mobility restrictions, as long as the social distancing rules of 2 meters and the use of masks are respected, so within the country you should not have problems with travel.

If you're planning to travel to the Azores or Madeira, as previously indicated, there are some additional rules that you must comply with. When travelling by plane to Madeira, you must undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival, unless you have performed a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours before landing. However, from 1st July 2020, this quarantine period will be lifted, but you will still need to submit a negative COVID-19 test, performed 72 hours before.

In the case of the Azores, you have several options: present a negative COVID-19 test, carried out 72 hours before travel; carry out the test on arrival and isolate yourself preventively until the results come back; carry out a voluntary 14-day quarantine in one of the hotels designated for that purpose; or return to your destination of origin or to another destination outside the archipelago, remaining in preventive isolation until then. Further details in Portuguese can be found here.

For those travelling to Portugal from neighbouring Spain, the official opening of the border will be on 1st July 2020, marked by an event at the border of the two countries with the presence of Spain’s president Pedro Sánchez and King Felipe VI, the Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa. From this date, the 14-day quarantine stipulated for those travelling from Spain will also cease to be compulsory.

Flights

During the months of June and July, the main air routes hope to resume their activity to Portugal and across Europe within the new normality, through the opening of borders and movement between countries in the Schengen area and between the countries of the European Union.

For the time being, the Portuguese government recommends consulting the restrictions and alerts issued before starting any journey to or from the country and, once in Portugal, respecting all the measures put in place at the airports. The Portuguese international airports (Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Ponta Delgada and Funchal) have already implemented rules to ensure the safety of everyone, both officials and passengers, such as a system for taking body temperature on arrival.

If you need more information about flights to and from Portugal, consult the main airlines that fly to Portugal:

Once on Portuguese territory or after your trip, if you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you should immediately contact Portugal’s National Health Service (808 24 24 24).

Tourist cruises

Currently, the boarding and disembarking of passengers in Portuguese ports remains restricted, except in the case of passengers who are residents.

What steps should you take during your stay in Portugal?

Transport

In all types of transport, the use of a mask is compulsory and, in the case of public transport, the capacity is limited to 2/3.

Rental cars operate with the same capacity limitation as taxis, in which case the front seats can only be used by the driver.

Commercial spaces, restaurants and bars

Restaurants, bars, cafés, bakeries and terraces must comply with the mandatory minimum distance of 1.5 meters between tables.

Employees and customers must wear a mask when moving around the establishment and order and delivery services can be maintained as they have been to date.

Museums, cultural and leisure spaces

If you are going to visit the country, you will be able to enjoy its cultural offer, since most of spaces have reopened following rules of circulation, social distancing and disinfection.

Cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and theatres can resume their activity, with the use of a mask once again obligatory. These establishments will also operate at reduced capacity, with marked places and physical distance between users.

If shows or events are held outdoors, the venue area must be clearly marked and access control must be implemented, even if it is a free event. Among the public, distancing rules and the use of masks must be maintained.

Religious ceremonies

Religious ceremonies are subject to measures similar to those applied to cultural events: the use of masks, social distancing, control of the circulation of those who attend, and minimisation of physical contact are all obligatory.

Accommodation

As already mentioned, Turismo de Portugal has drafted specific regulations that allow for the identification of establishments and services that comply with improved hygiene and safety measures. These establishments are identified with the "Clean & Safe" seal.

Campsites also apply these same measures and limit their capacity to 2/3 of the area designated for motor homes.

Portuguese beaches

Portuguese beaches have already been reopened and have applied a traffic light information system that can indicate the state of occupation of the beach so that you can easily choose your destination:

  • Green: low occupancy level (1/3)
  • Yellow: medium occupancy level (2/3)
  • Red: full occupancy (3/3)

This information will be updated in real time in the app "Info Praia" and on the website of the Portuguese Environment Agency.

If you are travelling this summer, please follow these rules and recommendations and help to keep yourself and others safe.

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