Visit Portugal Prepares to Welcome Irish Visitors

Ryanair, Aer Lingus and TAP may be operating 60% of previous capacity from Ireland to Portugal in September, and Visit Portugal is still looking forward to welcoming delegates to the ITAA Conference in Évora from 15-18 October, Susana Cardoso, Director Ireland, has told ITTN.

“Portugal has not been so affected by Covid-19 as some other countries and, while the summer will basically be domestic tourism, we hope to see increasing numbers of Irish visitors from September, and winter sun holidays will be important,” she said. (Portugal currently has 2,705 Covid-19 cases and 111 deaths per one million population, compared with Ireland’s 4,657 cases and 295 deaths, for example.)

“We expect second cities and places that are close to open spaces, as well some inland attractions, along with rental apartments, to be more appealing, but the main reasons for visiting Portugal will remain, such as our beaches and golf courses,” Susana added.

Currently, there is no requirement for a 14-day quarantine for visitors arriving into mainland Portugal. However, there is such a requirement for passengers on flights to the Azores or Maderia and between the islands of each archipelago.

In its roadmap for reopening, Portugal will continue its ‘stay at home except for essentials’ policy, prohibit all events with over 10 people, and require the mandatory use of face masks in “crowded, closed spaces (e.g. public transportation, schools, supermarkets, stores)”. The roadmap involves three phases dated 4 May, 18 May, and 1 June. Restaurants and cafes are scheduled to open from 18 May, but only at 50% capacity. Museums, monuments, palaces, and art galleries, as well as theatres, concert halls, zoos and oceanarium are scheduled to open in June, albeit with restricted capacities and social distancing.

Beaches

From 1 June, supervised beaches will reopen, subject to regulations on access and with a maximum limit of people, who must reserve a space for themselves. There will also be opening and closing times.

Hotels

Many hotels will open in June, while the Hotels Association of Portugal believes that a large majority of hotels will have opened by July. Details of which hotels are opened in a specific location will be available at: https://travelbi.turismodeportugal.pt/pt-pt/Paginas/PowerBI/empreendimentos-suspensao-atividade-covid19.aspx

Temperature checks will be in place, only people from the same room will be allowed to use lifts simultaneously, and staff will wear face masks. Spas will not be open.

Clean&Safe

Since 24 April, tourism enterprises and travel agents registered with Visit Portugal have been able to apply for a ‘Clean&Safe’ stamp that requires implementation of internal protocols on hygiene and safety measures and which is valid for one year.

As of 6 May, 2,400 companies had been granted a ‘Clean&Safe’ stamp.

Airports

Body temperature measurement systems using infrared cameras have already been installed for passengers arriving at Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira, and Ponta Delgada Airports. If a high body temperature is detected, the person will be referred by a team of health technicians to a reserved area to perform a screening.

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