In a typical year, Portugal can expect to host more than 20 million travelers, with the country holding the honor of being the 10th most visited nation in Europe. However, the past year has been a year like no other, and the reality is in fact quite different. Instead of welcoming travelers to the tourist hotspots of Lisbon, Madeira and the Algarve, Portugal has extended its national lockdown and has implemented measures to cut international travel. Here’s a look at the situation in the country, the lockdown in place and how they are planning to stop international travel.
Portugal and Covid-19 – Information For Travelers
Portugal is currently experiencing its worst days of the pandemic to date. Despite a slow, contained start which saw the country fail to register more than a thousand daily cases until October, the country now has a 7-day average of 12890 cases per day – with its highest daily total of 16,432 coming just yesterday.
Portugal has begun its vaccination campaign, with more than 200,000 having received the vaccine to date. However, the country has a long way to go if it is to meet its target of 950,000 vaccinations by the end of February. The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, has set the ambitious target of vaccinating 70% of the adult population by the end of summer.
Should the country fail to reach the target, it may be through no fault of their own. Delivery delays and production issues have been an issue that several countries in the EU are currently facing; Portugal had hoped to receive 3 million doses of the vaccine in the first quarter, but has since revised the figure to 1.5 million.
Travelers from the EU, the Schengen area and a select group of other nations are currently able to enter Portugal. Covid-19 tests aren’t required, except for those visiting Madeira and the Azores. Travel from other countries is only permitted for essential travel.
Lockdown Extended – What Travelers Should Know
Given the Covid-19 situation in the country, Portugal is currently under a state of emergency, due to expire at midnight on January 30th. However, the Portuguese parliament yesterday approved the renewal of the state of emergency, which is due to last until February 14th.
Under the state of emergency, those in Portugal must stay at home, able to leave only for authorized movement, which includes the buying of essential goods and services, performing professional activities and exercising outdoors. People are encouraged to work from home, whilst restaurants, bars and cafes may only open to sell food and drink to take away and many retail shops are forced to close.
Banned From Traveling
In order to try and halt further spread of Covid-19, Portuguese nationals have been banned from travelling abroad. Speaking to the Portuguese parliament yesterday, Home Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita announced that Portuguese citizens would be banned from traveling abroad via air, land or sea for the next 15 days. It was also revealed that there would be checks along the country’s border with Spain in order to prevent citizens from leaving.
In addition to this, many countries have imposed their own bans on Portuguese citizens, leaving any potential travel options severely limited at present. The UK has banned flights from Portugal, whilst Germany is also considering a ban in the near future as countries look to prevent cases of the new, more-transmissible variants of Covid-19 from entering their borders.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories