Portugal is reopening to tourists without a two-week quarantine

Portugal is reopening to tourists without a two-week quarantine.

Being here in the Algarve, living and working in Portugal, normality is certainly on its way. Over the past few weeks shops, hairdressers, businesses and restaurants have started to open their doors. Soon, almost all commercial entities will be up and running – albeit with certain distancing restrictions still in play – so it seems obvious that the next door to open is that to tourists.

Portugal will be one of the first European countries to open their borders to tourists this summer – vowing to welcome overseas tourists as early as June. Unlike many other countries, which require visitors to undergo a two-week quarantine upon arrival, Portugal is waiving that requirement, making it easier for people to travel to the country. Some health checks will nonetheless be introduced at airports.

Due to the way that the government has handled this pandemic and the low numbers of COVID-19 throughout the country Portugal is seen to be a safe country to live in and thus is extremely attractive to those wishing to get out of the four walls that they have been confined to for so long.

Portugal has specified which countries will be welcome those from the Schengen Area (except nearby Spain and Italy), as well as the US, Canada, and Brazil.

A statement on VisitPortugal.com reads, “Continuing general restraint and containment behaviour, the resumption of economic and social activity will take place in stages, allowing the analysis of the development of the outbreak and the implementation of new measures where necessary. The civic duty of home confinement and social distance (two metres) is maintained, and the use of face masks are mandatory in public transport and services, shops and supermarkets, in enclosed spaces or outdoor gatherings. The enclosed spaces will have a maximum capacity limit of five people/100 m².”

TAP Airlines, Portugal’s flagship carrier, resumed some international operations earlier this month, although flights to and from the European Union are still suspended until June 15. Spain’s border with Portugal will also remain closed until then.

A big part of resuming Portugal’s struggling tourism sector is the reopening of hotels and resorts. The NAU Hotels & Resorts hotel group announced that it will resume activity in the Algarve and Alentejo regions on May 31, reopening 10 hotels that had been closed due to the pandemic. Their occupancy, however, cannot exceed two-thirds.

Beaches in Portugal will reopen on June 6.