Portugal reopens its borders to tourists on July 1st

Published by Elodie D., Caroline J. · Published on 1 July 2020 at 10h22 · Updated on 2 July 2020 at 09h42
As many European countries have already reopened their borders, Portugal opens from Wednesday July 1, 2020 its only land border with Spain after being closed for fifteen weeks without restrictions.

Portuguese expats have been reassured a few weeks ago. Yes, they will be able to go to Portugal this summer to visit their families and enjoy their homes. But there was still doubt as for tourists because of the coronavirus epidemic.

While France, Belgium, Germany and even Greece reopened their borders on June 15, Portugal has reopend, and without restrictions, on July 1, 2020 its land border with Spain. For the record, the only land border of the country was closed since March 16 because of the health crisis. Yet, it was possible to enter Portugal by plane from France since mid-June, especially to Lisbonne, Porto, and Faro airports.

So why is the reopening date later in Portugal? According to the report from the Portuguese government health board released on June 14, the regions of Lisbon and the Tagus valley are experiencing an increase of Covid-19 infections

For the record, only French people able to justify they have an actual residence in Portugal can go to the country, without having to self-isolate. Same thing for students who are back in classes.

To reassure the future tourists, the government has set up a “Clean & Safe” label enabling to guarantee health precautious taken by labelled places. Over 4,000 places have requested the label in order to launch their summer season.

Restaurants and cafés covering 200sqm can reopen at 50% of their capacity, with an opening limited to 11 p.m. Museums, monuments, art galleries have reopened as well, so have street-side gable stores covering 200sqm maximum. But closed spaces have a maximum capacity of 5 people/100sqm in order to limit contacts.

As for the coast, Portugal set up a beach occupancy scheme: you will have to keep a 3-meter distance between each family or group, and a gauge will have to be kept. To make sure you are not going to the beach for nothing, a phone app – “Info Praia” – is available on the Portuguese Environment Agency. Beaches will have an indicator: green, the beach is occupied under 33% and is accessible, yellow, it is still possible to come, red, the beach is full.

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