Portugal holidays: FCO issues major travel advice update for Lisbon, Madeira & the Azores

Portugal is back on the cards as a favourite holiday destination for Britons now that it has been removed from the UK’s red list. But there are still some measures in place for those travelling to certain regions in Portugal, including the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores. Today, the FCO updated its advice for Britons looking to travel to the country in the coming days.

The FCO’s advice states that the Greater Lisbon area is in a state of contingency due to localised outbreaks of coronavirus.

As well as social distancing, using a face mask in enclosed spaces, washing your hands regularly and following rules on maximum capacity, Lisbon has tighter measures in place.

The FCO website reads: “Private and public gatherings are limited to 10 people… shops and services open at 10am and close at 8pm, with the exception of restaurants, supermarkets, chemists, sports facilities, petrol stations, health and veterinary clinics.

It added: “The sale of alcohol is banned at service stations and after 8pm in shops and supermarkets.”

Mainland Portugal is still in a state of alert except for the Greater Lisbon area.

“Subject to the rules on social distancing and hygiene, most shops and services, restaurants, cultural venues, leisure parks and sports facilities are open,” it added.

Madeira and the Azores have also implemented similar measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.

People must use a face mask in enclosed spaces on the islands which include at the airport, shops, supermarkets, restaurants and on public transport.

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Madeira and Porto Santo are also requiring that face masks are worn in both enclosed public spaces and while outdoors which applies to anyone over the age of 10.

However, face masks do not have to be worn “when driving, exercising, while on the beach or walking the recommended routes in forest and mountain areas.”

The Azores’ regional government has extended its regional states of alert until September 1.

According to the FCO, the islands of Santa Maria, São Miguel, Terceira, Pico and Faial are “in a state of calamity”.

Meanwhile, the islands of Graciosa, São Jorge, Flores and Corvo are in a “state of alert”.

The island of São Miguel has even tighter restrictions in place until September 1 after the holiday destination experienced localised outbreaks of the deadly virus.

The island has closed its nightclubs, is shutting its bars and pubs at 10pm and only allowing petrol stations to remain open after 10pm for the sole purpose of selling petrol.

Britons travelling to mainland Portugal will be subject to a health screening.

Those travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores will be required to take a coronavirus test before they travel or when they arrive.

Arrivals do not need to quarantine and can be tested for free.

You may be required to take a coronavirus test and to self-isolate at your accommodation until the test results are known.

If you are travelling to the Azores and are staying for more than seven days, you will have to repeat the test locally six days after the first test.

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