Lisbon's Metro trains are regularly disinfected
The first case of the new Covid-19 coronavirus in Portugal was diagnosed on March 2nd, 2020, in the city of Porto. The first diagnosis in the Lisbon region was announced a day later. The Portuguese government immediately implemented measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and declared a State of Emergency on March 18. Public events were cancelled, non-essential movement was restricted, and schools, restaurants and shops, as well as access to the beaches, were closed. Only grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, and bakeries were allowed to remain open, but with a limited number of people inside at a time. Thanks to these early, strict measures, the spread of the virus was slowed, and Portugal was cited as a positive example in Europe.
Number of Covid-19 Coronavirus Cases in Lisbon and Portugal
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Portugal is relatively low, and nearly 7 out of 10 patients have now recovered. The most cases are in the densely-populated suburbs around the capital (Amadora, Loures and Odivelas), where there have been outbreaks. No part of Lisbon itself has had an outbreak. Portugal maintains one of the lowest pandemic mortality rates in Europe , despite having the continent’s third-highest population of 80+-year-olds. Self-discipline of the Portuguese population has been credited for that, after news of the high numbers of cases and deaths in the neighboring countries.
Travel Restrictions in Portugal
Portugal closed its borders early in March, and, on the 18th of the month, all European Union countries closed their borders to non-EU nationals. Commercial flights to most countries were suspended. The mandatory lockdown was lifted on May 4th, and small businesses reopened. Restaurants and museums reopened on May 18, and shopping malls, gyms, and theaters on June 1st. Beaches have also reopened but with a mandatory distance between sunbathers. Masks are currently required in public transportation, supermarkets, barber shops and beauty salons, and in small spaces.
Portugal has reopened its borders to tourists from EU countries on June 15, and those from most other countries are expected to be allowed in once the EU decides to reopen to visitors from outside the bloc. In July, a number of countries have already had restrictions lifted, but there’s still a temporary ban on travelers from the United States. Those from Canada, Australia and New Zealand may already travel to the EU and, of course, Portugal.
Is it Safe to Travel to Lisbon, Portugal?
As Covid-19 is still spreading and there’s no vaccine, the travel risk remains moderate. If you’re traveling, regularly wash your hands with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose, and always cover your mouth and nose with your elbow (not with your hands), every time you cough or sneeze. Keep a safe distance (2 meters, or 6 feet) from other people. If you develop respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and/or a fever, postpone your trip, stay at home, and immediately seek medical help.
If you’re able to travel to Lisbon, it’s required that you maintain the social distance, even at the beaches, where parasols and towels must be kept 2 meters (6 feet) apart. Buses and metro trains are regularly disinfected, but you must remain distant from other passengers, when possible.
Keep checking this page for regular updates and advice on traveling to Lisbon and Portugal this year.