COVID-19 | Measures implemented in Portugal

Implemented measures during the outbreak of COVID-19
[Updated on 16 April. State of Emergency in force until 30 April.]

During the outbreak of pneumonia by the new Coronavirus – COVID-19 the Portuguese government has been taking all necessary public health measures to protect the entire population. The analysis of the evolution of the outbreak is constant and implementation of new measures will be carried out whenever necessary.

General behavior guidelines were enacted, in which all people must adopt the following rules:
- Social distancing;
- Frequent hand washing;
- Mandatory use of mask;
- Respiratory etiquette.

In order to prevent the spread of the virus and the possibility of contagion, all services should take hygiene and sanitisation measures according to the indications of the Directorate-General for Health, with specific recommendations for various sectors of activity.  In tourism, the “Clean & Safe” seal, defined by Turismo de Portugal, was implemented, which allows tourists to have greater security and confidence in the use of accommodation establishments, in the various tourist services and tourist attractions.

In the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores, both regional governments have enacted some specific measures.

National measures -  https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt/ (in Portuguese)
Azores -  www.visitazores.com / https://destinoseguro.azores.gov.pt 
Madeira - www.visitmadeira.pt / www.madeira.gov.pt/Covid19 / https://covidmadeira.pt

You can get updated information on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal at WHO - World Health Organization (https://covid19.who.int/region/euro/country/pt) or at DGS – Portuguese General Directorate of Health (https://covid19.min-saude.pt/).

Before travelling, visitors should obtain and confirm information about procedures and restrictions in the countries of origin and destination, from the airline company and from the foreign and border services.

The State of Emergency was decreed until 30 April. The liftting of lockdown restrictions will take place in 4 phases, which may be reviewed every 15 days according to the epidemiological evolution.
Check the list of restrictions at EstamosOn (in Portuguese). 

  • General lockdown
    There will be a general duty of home retreat. It will not be allowed to circulate in public spaces and roads, with the exception of authorized travel on which the following stand out:
    - acquisition of essential goods and services;
    - access to public services;
    - professional activities (if accompanied by a statement);
    - health reasons;
    - assistance to vulnerable people;
    - school attendance;
    - participation in religious ceremonies;
    - short walks for physical activity, individually or with members of the same household;
    - pet walk;
    - travelling necessary to enter or leave the mainland, including those necessary to travel to and from the plece of accommodation;
    - homecoming within the framework of permitted situations;
    - refuelling at petrol stations as part of permitted journeys.

  • 1st Phase
    Restrictions lifted on March 15 but maintained until April 30 in the municipalities of Moura, Odemira, Portimão and Rio Maior

    - Opening of commercial establishments until 9:00 pm on working days and until 1:00 pm on weekends and public holidays, for home delivery, door-to-door delivery of goods or collection of products purchased by means of remote communication (click and collect);
    - Food stores open until 9 p.m. on working days and until 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays;
    - The sale of take-away drinks is allowed in restaurants and similar establishments, but the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m;
    - Fairs and food markets are allowed, with the authorization of the city council;
    - Opening of bookstores, libraries and archives;
    - Opening of parks, gardens, green spaces and leisure areas;
    - The time restriction is not applicable to accommodation units, local accommodation, rent-a-car and establishments located inside airports after the passenger security check.
    - In hotel bars and restaurants, operation is permitted for the purpose of room-service or take-away.
    Portuguese citizens are allowed to travel outside the mainland, by road, rail, air, river or sea.

  • 2nd Phase
    Restrictions lifted on April 5 but maintained until April 30 in the municipalities of Alandroal, Albufeira, Carregal do Sal, Figueira da Foz, Marinha Grande and Penela

    - Opening of museums, monuments, palaces, art galleries and similar;
    - Opening of shops up to 200 m2 with a door to the street;
    - Non-food fairs and markets allowed upon municipal decision;
    - Opening of terraces (groups of maximum 4 people allowed);
    - Physical activity and outdoor training up to 4 people;
    - Opening of swimming pools;
    - Opening of golf courses.

  • 3rd Phase
    From April 19, except in the municipalities of Moura, Odemira, Portimão and Rio Maior (maintain restrictions of the 1st phase), Alandroal, Albufeira, Carregal do Sal, Figueira da Foz, Marinha Grande and Penela (maintain restrictions of 2nd phase)

    - Opening of cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls;
    - Opening of all shops and shopping centres until 9 pm on working days and until 1 pm on weekends and public holidays;
    - Opening of restaurants, cafes, and bakeries until 10:30 pm on working days and until 1 pm on weekends and public holidays. Groups of 4 people are allowed inside or 6 people on terraces;
    - Physical activity and outdoor training up to 6 people;
    - Outdoor events allowed with reduced attendance.

  • 4th Phase
    From the 3rd of May

    - Opening of restaurants, cafés, and pastry shops with no time limit. Groups of 6 people are allowed inside or 10 people on terraces;
    - Large outdoor and indoor events allowed with reduced occupancy.

  • Circulation in Portuguese territory / Borders
    Control of people on the Spanish border has been restored.
    Cross-border rail traffic is suspended, except for the transport of goods, as well as river transport between Portugal and Spain, establishing, however, some authorized crossing points at the land border.
    - Permanently opened border (24 hours a day): Valença, Vila Verde da Raia, Quintanilha, Vilar Formoso, Caia, Vila Verde de Ficalho and Castro Marim;
    - Passage allowed on business days, from 6 am to 8 p.m.: Marvão
    - Passage allowed on business days, from 6 am to 9 am / 5 pm to 8 pm: Monção, Melgaço, Ponte da Barca - Madalena, Montalegre, Vinhais;
    - Passage allowed on business days, from 7 am to 9 am / 5 pm to 7 pm: Miranda do Douro, Termas de Monfortinho, Mourão and Barrancos;
    - Rural route of Rio de Onor: passage allowed on Wednesday and Saturday, between 10am and 12pm.

    Citizens who are nationals of or legally reside in Portugal, coming from Brazil and South Africa, as well as from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden Poland and Sweden, entering Portugal by land must comply with a 14-day quarantine period at home or at a place indicated by the health authorities.

    Anyone who is obliged to comply with the 14-day prophylactic isolation in Portugal must register with SEF - Foreigners and Borders Service before entering the country at https://travel.sef.pt.

  • Trips to the Azores and Madeira Islands
    Passengers flying to the Madeira archipelago must comply with one of the following options:
    1. Submit a negative test to COVID-19 performed within 72 hours prior to departure;
    2. Present a medical document certifying that the holder is recovered from COVID-19 disease at the time of landing, issued within the last 90 days;
    3. Present a vaccination certificate against COVID-19, respecting the period of activation of the immune system foreseen in the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC);
    4. Perform test on arrival and await the result in prophylactic isolation;
    5. Perform voluntary isolation, for a period of 14 days, at home or in a hotel accommodation.
    More information at www.visitmadeira.pt.

  • Passengers flying to the Azores archipelago :
    To visit the Azores, the SARS-CoV-2 screening test is MANDATORY, within 72 hours preceding the flight from the airport of origin, carried out using the RT-PCR methodology, with NEGATIVE result, making explicit reference to the identification of the person tested, the laboratory, the date of the test and the signature of the person responsible for its performance, which must be presented prior to boarding, in digital or paper support, without which boarding will be refused.
    If the stay is longer than seven days, on the 6th and 12th day from the date SARS-CoV-2 first test was performed, the passenger must contact the health services of the county where is staying so that a second test can be performed.
    More information at www.visitazores.com

  • Flights to and from the European Union and Schengen Area
    The resumption of air routes with the countries of the European Union, as well as in the Schengen Area, is dependent on border restrictions and on the evolution of the epidemiological situation worldwide. Therefore, before making a trip, it is important to consult the alerts and restrictions provided by foreign and border services, whether in the country where the trip starts as in Portugal (www.sef.pt), as well as checking the necessary procedures and documents with the airline .

    At the European Union website - https://reopen.europa.eu - you can find information on each country about borders, available means of transport, travel restrictions, health and public safety measures, as well as other practical information for travellers.

    To know which are the travel regulations all around the world, check the map at the IATA Travel Centre.

  • Flights to and from Portugal are allowed for:
    - Flights to and from the countries of the European Union or from Schengen Associated countries (Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) and their families.
    Only “essential travel” is allowed to and from countries with an incidence rate equal to or greater than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Sweden.
    In the case of countries with an incidence rate equal to or greater than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, there is also an obligation to comply, after entering Portugal, with a period of prophylactic isolation of 14 days, at home or at a place indicated by the health authorities: Bulgaria, Czechia, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.
    Flights from Ireland, Finland, Iceland, Malta and Liechtenstein have no restrictions, but passengers need a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time.

    - Flights from Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau;

    - Flights to and from other countries (which are not members of the European Union or which are not countries associated with the Schengen Area) exclusively for "essential travel";

    - Flights intended to allow the return to Portugal of nationals or foreign citizens holding a residence permit in Portugal and flights intended to allow the return to their countries of foreign citizens who are in Portugal, provided that they are promoted by the competent authorities of those countries.

    All passengers, from all nationalities, must present proof of a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time, with the exception of children who have not reached 24 months of age.

  • Passengers on commercial flights from South Africa and Brazil must present proof of a negative RT-PCR test result, carried out within 72 hours prior to departure time and will have to comply with a 14-day quarantine period at home or at a place indicated by the health authorities. This requirement also applies to flights that have stopped over or transited in countries which air traffic with Portugal is authorised, or to passengers registered as having left South Africa in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Portugal.

  • Anyone who is obliged to comply with the 14-day prophylactic isolation in Portugal must register with SEF - Foreigners and Borders Service before entering the country at https://travel.sef.pt.
    Prophylactic isolation does not apply to:
    - passengers traveling on essential journeys and whose period of stay in national territory, attested by a return ticket, does not exceed 48 hours;
    - passengers traveling exclusively to participate in international professional competitions, listed in Annex IV of the official governmental document Despacho nº 3838-A/2021 (in Portuguese);
    - passengers integrated in foreign delegations to participate in meetings under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

  • Essential travel” is defined as trips allowing the transit, entry into and departure from Portugal for professional purposes, study, family reunions, health and humanitarian reasons and under the reciprocity principle.
    In essential travels, national and foreign citizens with legal residence in Portugal and also diplomatic personnel accredited in Portugal who, exceptionally, do not present the test, will have to do it on arrival, at the airport, and at their own expense. Foreign passengers who embark without the test performed, will be refused entry into national territory, with the airline being the subject of a fine.

  • The Portuguese airports (Lisboa, Porto, Faro, Ponta Delgada e Funchal) have implemented several initiatives in order to keep staff and passengers safer. A body temperature measurement system was implemented on arrival. Passengers will be requested to fill out a form from the Health Authorities - Passenger Locator Card -, that can be fulfilled online or will be provided by the Airline Company, during the flight. This information will be used to contact passengers, in case someone develops COVID-19 symptoms within the same flight.
    More information at https://www.ana.pt/en/passenger-guide/what-you-need-to-know/covid-19

  • Useful links with information on flights from/to Portugal:
    - www.airmalta.com

    On Portuguese territory, travellers who show symptoms suggestive of respiratory disease during or after travel should immediately contact the National Health Service by calling 808 24 24 24 (SNS24).

    If you are a foreigner visitor and want to do the test for Covid-19 shortly after arrival, before departure or at any time in mainland Portugal or Madeira you can do it in one of the hospitals and clinics included in the Portugal Health Passport that can provide you personalized support in your language. The test for Covid-19 must be scheduled with a consultation and the results will be available in up to 72 hours. More information is available at test.covid19@portugalhealthpassport.com

    If you are a foreigner and you need to contact your embassy, please consult the website of the Diplomatic Corps in Portugal: www.portaldiplomatico.mne.gov.pt/rede-diplomatica/corpo-diplomatico-em-portugal

    If you are Portuguese or you live in Portugal, in case you have a scheduled trip, you should consult the restrictions in each country on the Portal das Comunidades:
    Alerts (in Portuguese) - www.portaldascomunidades.mne.pt
    Advice to Travellers (in Portuguese) - www.portaldascomunidades.mne.pt/pt/conselhos-aos-viajantes 

    If you are travelling and you need support on your return to Portugal, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
    Portuguese travellers line - gec@mne.pt/ +351 217 929 714 / +351 961 706 472

  • Embarkation and disembarkation of tourism cruises
    Passenger boarding and disembarkation at Portuguese ports is not permitted, except for resident passengers.

  • Transports
    The use of face masks is mandatory.
    Public transports are limited to 2/3 of the capacity.
    In taxis / TVDE, the front seats must be used only by the driver, and passenger occupancy cannot exceed 2/3 of the remaining space.

  • Rent-a-Car
    In vehicles with a capacity of 5 seats or less, they can be fully occupied if they belong to the same household.
    If the vehicle has a capacity for more than 5 seats, its capacity is limited to 2/3 of the total, unless they are part of the same household.

  • Sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages
    The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in service areas or gas stations and, from 8 p.m., in shops including supermarkets and hypermarkets.

  • Golf
    The golf courses are in operation. The specific measures established by the Portuguese Golf Federation are available at www.fpg.pt.

  • Accommodation
    Tourist accommodation has been adopting the “Clean & Safe” seal implemented by Turismo de Portugal, which allows the identification of establishments and services that have implemented enhanced hygiene and safety measures.
    A general occupancy limitation has not been determined, but each accommodation unit must define a Contingency Plan to be applied in the COVID-19 context, with circulation rules in common areas, as well as hygiene and cleaning procedures.

  • Campings
    The campsites, as well as the service areas for motorhomes, will have a maximum capacity limited to 2/3 of the area.

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