COVID-19 | Measures implemented in Portugal

Implemented measures during the outbreak of COVID-19
[Updated on 26 February. State of Emergency in force until 16 March.]

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 16 March, defining circulation restrictions.
Check the list of restrictions at EstamosOn (in Portuguese). 

  • Movement between municipalities at the weekend will be prohibited, between 8pm on friday to 5am on Monday.

  • 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;
    - 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.

  • Establishments and services open to the public
    - Essential goods shops, grocery shops, supermarkets and hypermarkets may operate without time restrictions;
    - Health services, offices, dentists and pharmacies;
    - Restaurants and cafes may only operate on a take-away or home delivery basis;
    - Fairs and markets are allowed for food sales only.
    Shops must close by 8 pm on weekdays. At the weekend, shops should close at 1 pm, except supermarkets and food shops that may be open to the public until 5 pm.
    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.

  • Establishments and services closed to the public
    - Hairdressers / barber shops;
    - Gyms closed;
    - sports facilities, even outdoors;
    - Museums, cultural and leisure spaces;
    - Prohibited events.

  • Religious ceremonies
    Religious celebrations were suspended.


  • 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, Marvão, Caia, Vila Verde de Ficalho and Castro Marim;
    - Passage allowed on weekdays, from 7 am to 9 am / 6 pm to 8 pm: Monção, 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.

  • 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 will be subject to one of the following options:
    1. Submit proof of testing to COVID-19 up to 72 hours prior to flight departure;
    2. Perform test on arrival and stay in prophylactic isolation until the result is obtained;
    3. Return to the destination of origin or travel to any destination outside the Region, fulfilling, until the time of the flight, prophylactic isolation in a hotel indicated for this purpose.
    If the stay is longer than seven days, on the 6th 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.
    Passengers coming from areas considered by the World Health Organization as zones of community transmission or with active transmission chains of the SARS -CoV-2 virus, are required to present, prior to boarding, a document issued by a laboratory, national or international, conducting a RT-PCR test with a negative result, carried out within 72 hours before the departure of the final trip to the Azores. This requirement does not apply to passengers aged 12 or under and to humanitarian situations authorized by the Regional Health Authority.
    More information at https://covid19.azores.gov.pt

  • 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.

  • Travel outside the mainland
    It is prohibited to travel outside the continental territory by Portuguese citizens, by any means, whether by road, rail, air, river or maritime, except for essential travel, among which the following stand out:
    - professional activities (properly documented);
    - leaving the mainland of Portuguese citizens residing in other countries;
    - exceptionally, for the purpose of family reunion of spouses and family members up to 1st grade;
    - travel to the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira.
  • Flights to Portugal
    Air travel to and from Portugal is allowed to:
    - European Union countries;
    - Schengen Associated Countries - Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland;
    - Australia, China (including Hong Kong and Macao), South Korea, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay.

    Passengers from countries with an incidence rate of 500 cases or more per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days - Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia – must present a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time and must comply, after entry in mainland Portugal, a period of prophylactic isolation of 14 days, at home or in a place indicated by health authorities. Prophylactic isolation does not apply to passengers on essential travels and whose length of stay in national territory, certified by return ticket, does not exceed 48 hours.

    Passengers coming from countries that have a incidence between 150 and 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days - Germany, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland – must present a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before boarding time. 

    Before travelling, visitors should obtain and confirm information about procedures and restrictions from the airline company. 
    More information at www.sef.pt.

  • Flights from the United Kingdom and from Brazil
    All commercial or private flights between Portugal and the United Kingdom and between Portugal and Brazil are suspended. Except for the right of entry for national citizens and their families and holders of residence permits in Portugal, only on flights of a humanitarian nature for the purpose of repatriation of those citizens. These passengers will have to present, at the time of departure, proof of a RT-PCR test with a negative result, carried out within 72 hours prior to departure time. Upon arriving in the national territory, they must comply with a period of 14 days of quarantine at home, or in a place indicated by the health authorities.

  • Flights between Portugal and other destinations will only be permitted for essential travel (from and to non-EU countries or which are not Schengen Associated Countries). In this case, passengers must present a negative test to COVID-19 (RT-PCR), carried out within 72 hours before departure time. 
    “Essential travel” is defined as trips allowing the transit, entry into and departure from Portugal for the following persons:
    - citizens of a European Union member state, Schengen Associated countries and their family members;
    - citizens repatriated through consular assistance;
    - third-country nationals travelling 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
    Golf courses are closed.

  • 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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