There is speculation that Portugal could be taken off the UK’s travel ban list at the end of August. However, nothing has been confirmed as of yet. So, what’s the situation looking like in Portugal and will Brits be able to enjoy the last of the summer there?
Are cases falling in Portugal?
Why is the UK still prohibited from travelling to mainland Portugal? The British authorities are following data compiled by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. That data suggests the 14-day cumulative number of citizens testing positive in Portugal is still ‘unacceptable’ (i.e. over 25 per 100,000).
However, the situation in Portugal has been improving. At the time of writing, there has been 52,825 cases and 1,759 deaths from COVID-19 in Portugal.
Denmark recently joined Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Belgium and the Netherlands in either partially or completely lifting travel restrictions on Portugal. The islands of Madeira and the Azores have been taken off the UK’s banned list, however, travellers will still need to isolate for 14 days on return.
A source from Whitehall has reportedly said, “Portugal has made a lot of progress, but the process of for dropping quarantine is far more gradual, where we monitor progress in weeks rather than days.” In other words, the infection rate is falling. However, for the government to consider taking Portugal off the list, it will have to continue to fall over the coming weeks.
Get your free copy of the Portugal Buying Guide – your free guide to everything you need to know about buying in Portugal.
The new normal
Throughout Portugal, the use of masks is mandatory in enclosed spaces for anyone over the age of 10. They have to be worn in places such as supermarkets, shops, beauty salons at the airport and on public transport. You’re also required to remain two metres apart from other people when in public. These restrictions are the same as in most other European countries.
Despite these restrictions, the Portuguese authorities have gone out of their way to encourage tourists to visit. The tourist board has developed a “Clean and Safe” stamp to identify services that comply with hygiene and cleaning standards. This includes hotels, tour operators and restaurants. Hotels are open, as are campsites and motor homes.
Although Portugal is still on the travel ban list for the UK, it’s clear that British holidaymakers are extremely keen to visit. Bonús Seguros, an insurance company offering COVID travel cover for Portugal, has been ‘absolutely overwhelmed’ by demand from the UK.
When moving abroad, healthcare can be a concern – so read our free Guide to Healthcare to find out about accessing medical care overseas.
The property market
The Portuguese Housing Market Survey (the PHMS) recently found that the property market has become more stable. However, the economic consequences of the pandemic should continue to influence market development for some time.
With the rental market, demand from tenants has increased slightly for the first time since February. It has, therefore, shown some signs of recovery, according to the PHMS. However, rental prices are still falling, a trend that looks to continue in the short term.
Hopefully, travel to Portugal will be possible soon. The situation is incredibly uncertain, but the coming weeks should reveal whether Portugal will be open to Brits for the last of the summer.