Is it safe to travel: Portugal

Planning a trip to Portugal? Find out what the country is doing to make travel safer for tourists. Here are some new COVID-19 travel protocols to know before you embark on your Portuguese adventure.
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⚠️ Update: March 2, 2021

Take note that a country-wide state of emergency and national lockdown order is in place until March 16, 2021.

Movement between municipalities will be prohibited between 8 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday. Everyone is advised to stay at home with the exception of essential travel.

While domestic and partial international flights are currently operational and general travel is allowed outside of curfew hours, we strongly recommend that you check with regional authorities for up-to-date travel advice before embarking on your journey.

Is it safe to travel to Portugal
Image by Nick Karvounis via Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed travel forever. Many countries have closed their international borders to tourists and many countries have strict restrictions in place. Countries have been put on lockdown and rules such as the mandatory wearing of masks are in place. However, travel is slowly beginning to regain traction, and countries have begun to reopen their borders. Portugal has since opened its borders to selected travelers for tourism. We ask the hard question — “Is it safe to travel Portugal?” so you can make the right choices and feel comfortable on your trip.

Traveling to Portugal

Portugal is not open for tourism. Travel to Portugal must be carried out only for essential reasons. Air travel to and from Portugal is still allowed for these countries:

  • European Union countries
  • Schengen associated countries
  • Countries with positive epidemiological assessment – Australia, China (including Hong Kong and Macao), South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay

Despite Portugal not being open to tourism, Portugal is the first country in Europe to be awarded the “Safe Travels” badge that recognizes their commitment to safety for all travelers. Read more about the WTTC and the new Safe Travels protocols here.

Turismo de Portugal, Portugal’s tourism authority, has also created a “Clean & Safe” stamp. Turismo de Portugal ensures that tourism enterprises, tourist entertainment companies, travel agencies, and tour operators are compliant with cleaning and hygiene requirements. This avoids all risks of COVID-19 contagion, making Portugal a safe and fun tourist destination for all.

Domestic travel

As Portugal is currently undergoing a state of emergency, only authorized travel is allowed. Travel between municipalities is prohibited on weekends.

Specific regions

Turismo de Portugal encourages all travelers to apply for the Portugal Health Passport upon their arrival to Portugal. The Portugal Health Passport provides a holistic package of English-speaking healthcare services for tourists. These include the availability of health screenings including the COVID-19 test and high-quality urgent medical care at selected hospitals.

Madeira archipelago

Travelers flying to the Madeira archipelago have to present a negative COVID-19 test result issued within 72 hours before embarkation. They also have the option to take the test upon arrival.

Protective masks must be worn in all public spaces.

Azores archipelago

Travelers flying to the Azores archipelago must submit proof of testing COVID-19 up to 72 hours prior to the flight’s departure. They will be allowed entry if the test comes back negative. Travelers also have the option to perform the test on arrival and stay in prophylactic isolation until the result is obtained. If the isolation exceeds seven days, the passenger must contact the health services of the county on the fifth day so that a second test can be taken.

Travel out of Portugal

Portuguese citizens are generally prohibited from traveling outside of Portugal with several exceptions.

Lockdown restrictions

Events

Local trade and culture events closed. Fairs and markets are allowed to be open only to sell food.

All religious ceremonies are suspended.

Businesses and establishments

Grocery stores and supermarkets can be open with limited capacity to 5 people per 100 square meters. They must close at 8 pm during weekdays, and may remain open on weekends until 5 pm.

Restaurants, bars and cafes are only open to take-away and home delivery. Restaurants in shopping centers are closed. Consumption of food and drinks in close proximity to restaurants and cafes is prohibited.

Sports

All sports facilities are closed. Individual outdoor exercise is allowed. Congregating in public spaces such as gardens, beaches, and parks is not allowed.

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