Portugal Enters Second Phase of Reopening Strategy

Silves, Portugal
Silves, Portugal // Photo by mkos83/Getty Images via Newscred

On Monday, Portugal took another step in the process of gradually opening the economy and social life. This new phase, which coincided with International Museum Day, was marked by the opening of museums and other cultural amenities, such as monuments, art galleries, interpretative centers, palaces and churches. Restaurants, cafés, patisseries, terraces, promenades and shops of up to 4,300 square feet have also opened as of May 18. 

This marks the second of the three phased controlled opening, following local traders, bookshops, hairdressers, beauty salons, libraries, sailing clubs, golf courses, taxi and rent-a-car firms and some public services and public transports, which had already opened their doors on May 4 (with highly positive results, says Visit Portugal).

The health and safety measures imposed in Portugal by the Department of Health will remain in force, such as the obligatory use of masks, the continuation of two-meter (six-foot) social distancing and conditions for frequent disinfection of hands by employees, visitors, customers and of surfaces and spaces with imposed capacity limitations. In restaurants and similar establishments, ventilation and frequent air renewal will be given priority and all decorative elements will be removed from tables. Customers are advised to book in advance and payments should preferably be made through contactless processes.

In order to continue to gain the trust of visitors, Turismo de Portugal has created the “Clean & Safe” stamp, which distinguishes tourist activities that are in compliance with hygiene and cleanliness requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections. This stamp covers the entire tourism value chain, including hotels, local accommodation, tour operators, restaurant and catering companies.

The start of the bathing season, which will begin on June 6, will mark a further phase in the return to business. There will be a limit on the number of bathers per beach and extra supervision will be provided to ensure strict compliance with the stipulated rules. It is also proposed that this phase will include the opening of other commercial services and establishments, marking a further step towards the return of a certain degree of normality in Portugal’s social and economic situation.

There are currently no quarantine requirements on entry to Portugal, except for the Madeira Islands. The Azores islands are accommodating the following options: Arriving with a confirmed negative COVID-19 test, a COVID-19 test upon arrival or voluntary quarantine in a designated hotel.

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