Given the unprecedented disruption to travel due to COVID 19 here are the things you need to know…
- Portugal is safe – In the so-called “1st wave”, compared to the EU, Portugal had a less intense outbreak of COVID. At the moment, in the “2nd wave” Portugal, despite registering an increase in infection rates, mortality is among the lowest in Europe. The hospitalization rate and the use of intensive care beds have increased to more critical levels. In a preventive attitude, the Portuguese State defined a national strategy for the management of the hospital network in order to allow an effective response to a possible increase in positive cases requiring hospitalization.
- No area of the country is in lockdown / confinement – In the scope of the “2nd wave”, with the growing trend of positive cases, in some municipalities in the country, in which the Lisbon and Porto areas are integrated, the government updated its guidelines regarding to COVID19, in order to control the rate of new infections:
- All commercial establishments are closed until 10 pm, except for restaurants, which have to be closed until 10:30 pm which can only have tables for up to six people
- Supermarkets are also covered by this guideline and close at 10:00 pm, gas stations may remain open 24:00, but they must not sell alcohol after 8:00 pm
- Gyms, beaches, museums, zoos, aquariums and attractions remain open, they must follow the rules of social distance and the use of a mandatory mask. Cultural facilities must close until 10:30 pm
- Prohibition of holding celebrations and other events that involve an agglomeration of people in excess of five people, unless they belong to the same household
- Taxis and Uber operate normally (a mask is required) and the levels of public transport (metro, buses, boats and trains) have been increased to allow for better social distance.
- Mandatory mask use: for all those who circulate or remain in public spaces and roads and whenever the physical distance recommended by health authorities cannot be guaranteed. This rule applies to people aged 10 and over
- Self-isolation is necessary when a suspected or confirmed infection occurs
- There is no confinement in Portugal. There is a duty to stay at home but it allows you to leave the house to practice physical exercise, visit cultural facilities, travel to leave the country.
- Renewal of the State of Emergency decreed by the President of the Republic for the period between 00:00 on January 8, 2021 and 23:59 on January 15, 2021.
- In high risk municipalities to ban the public highway from 13.00 at the end weekend of 9 and 10 January;
- In the entire continental national territory, circulation between municipalities is prohibited between 11 pm on 8 January and 5 am on 11 January 2021, except for health, urgent or other reasons specifically provided for.
- LV Premier homes are safe – At LVPremier we have implemented a very strict sanitation/ disinfection protocol- which follows recommendations by Portuguese/ European Health and Government authorities and Airbnb/ Booking.com recommendations. This means that all apartments are professionally cleaned and disinfected, all high touch surfaces are disinfected again just before to check in. We reduced rugs and fabrics to a minimum, and implemented a weekly cleaning/disinfection of AC units. All linen is professionally laundered at high temperatures, and towels are washed with an oxygen based disinfectant.
- Is Portugal requiring a quarantine?– No. Portugal does not have a requirement that anyone does self isolation, unless you tested positive/have symptoms of COVID. All EU and UK citizens are freely admitted in Portugal, but Madeira and Azores require a negative test for entry. Non EU/UK visitors should consult the Portuguese foreign office regarding specific requirements/ restrictions. Full information in English here
- How can I get to Portugal ? – All of the flag carriers and low cost carriers ( Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz, Jet 2 etc) are flying, albeit with lower than normal summer capacity. Land borders reopened on July 1.
- Can I get Travel Insurance covering COVID? Yes. PortugalTravelInsurance.com (a partnership between Turismo de Portugal and a private insurance company) sells a relatively inexpensive travel insurance that covers medical costs and stay extensions due to COVID. Other options may exist in your home country and will allow you to travel with confidence.
- Portugal Health Passport– In addition to the EU health Insurance Card providing normal medical services for EU nationals, there are now a number of packages of medical services in the best private Portuguese clinics available, to give you additional peace of mind. Info here
- What is changing for the stay?
- Check in- a mask/ face covering is needed for check in. Hand disinfection is also requested upon entry of the property. Self check in can be organized provided that client performs the check in online and provide us with a signed copy of the check in form prior to arrival
- In Stay Assistance– we continue to have our office in Lisbon open and our lines are the first step for assistance. Should one of our staff or a contractor be needed for a repair all parties should use face mask
- Check out- self check out at agreed time is preferred. If you require assistance we can do a in person check out
- Luggage storage. At this time bag storage will be very limited and should be discussed prior to arrival. In the event that we agree to hold your luggage, the external surfaces should be disinfected by the guest in our presence.
What if I get COVID symptoms during the stay: Portuguese health authorities mandate that you call the national health line- SNS 24 (808 24 24 24). They will triage the case and provide instructions about next steps. You also need to inform us (we can assist / translate with the SNS24 call). Informing us will start our contingency plan as required by Portuguese authorities.
- We highly advise you to get travel insurance to cover for any disruptions to your travel. As a small company, we will assist in everything we can, but we can not absorb the cost of extended stays due to disease and these should be handled by you or your travel insurance.
LV Premier Safe certifications:
- Clean and Safe- Portugal started a certification scheme for lodging establishments. We have certified two of our properties, and apply the same protocol to all the properties. The difference is that we keep PPE supplies (gloves, masks, thermometers etc) available at a central location as opposed to being in the apartment as required for certification
- Airbnb Committed to Clean- we also joined the Airbnb “Committed to Clean” scheme, and follow the requirements which include exhaustive disinfection protocols
Cleaning and sanitizing
We ensure the disinfection of the unit with special attention to high touch surfaces. Where possible, common areas are also frequently disinfected. We recommend frequent hand washing to reduce risk
We will and ask you to respect social distancing rules which recommend approx 2m distance. This is in line with international health directives and will provide protection for all
Our staff uses protection equipment for everyone’s safety. Alcohol gel is made available inside the apartments. We ask guests to comply with basic safety rules- using masks in common areas and frequent hand washing/disinfection.