FAQ - Travel to Algarve, Portugal this summer

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Your questions answered about summer holdiays in the Algarve this year

Amid the constant stream of ever-changing information out there about travel to and from Portugal this summer, people are confused about travel and what they can expect in resort. We answer your questions about travel to Portugal and holidays in the Algarve this summer.

So, what can you do this summer in the Algarve? Pretty much everything! The beaches are open and as gorgeous as ever. Restaurants are open and the food still tastes amazing, especially served al fresco with sea views. The coast is calling you to discover its caves and coves on a boat trip. Off-road adventures await you in the sparsely populated countryside. You can surf, play golf, tennis and padel. Zoomarine is open with a limited capacity but with all the fun. It’s summer as you always imagined, just with a little more awareness and some masks.

Anecdotally, we know that most travellers have found much greater awareness of social distancing, mask use and general caution in Portugal than in other countries. Algarve locals and businesses have adopted new norms in their personal and work lives to limit the transmission of infections. Social distancing signage is everywhere, hand sanitizers are at every entrance. Generally, visitors report feeling as safe or safer in the Algarve than even in their own countries.

Below we answer some questions about travel to Portugal, about using masks and what you can expect your summer in the Algarve to be like.

NOTE: the information below refers to Summer 2020.
We are confident that the scenario will be similar for Summer 2021 but as yet do not have confirmation of details.

Are there flights to Faro airport?

Yes. Flights are permitted between Portugal and EU countries, Schengen area countries and the UK. Flights will be permitted from other countries such as Canada and China when these countries open their borders to the EU.
Essential travel only is permitted from Brazil, USA and PALOP countries (países de língua oficial portuguesa) subject to presenting before boarding a negative Covid-19 test that was taken no more than 72 hours before.

Do I need to show a test or be tested when I arrive in Portugal?

Travellers from the EU, Schengen area and the UK do NOT need to show a Covid test or have a test performed. Travellers from other countries may have to show a test, see above.

Do I need to quarantine when I arrive in Portugal?

If you are from the UK, the EU and Schengen area countries, NO you do not need to quarantine upon arrival.

Can I drive to Portugal from Spain? And through France and Spain to Portugal?

Yes, borders are now open.

Will I be checked for illness when I arrive at Faro airport?

There are Walk Through camera systems in place for scanning temperatures at Faro airport.

Do I need to wear a mask at the airport?

Yes, once landed in Portugal, use of masks indoors in public areas is mandatory.

Can I still get a taxi or a private airport transfer from Faro airport?

Yes, taxis are available and you can pre-book your airport transfer to be there upon your arrival. Capacity is limited in vehicles to 2/3 and passengers can travel only in the rear seats. Mask should be worn. Vehicles are disinfected after each service and hand sanitizers are generally available on board.

Is there any travel insurance that covers Covid-19 related incidents?
Yes. Portugal Tourism has launched a insurance specifcally adapted to the new reality of travel during the Coronavirus pandemic. The insurance covers continental Portugal, the Açores and Madeira and includes covers for many eventualities associated with Covid-19 pandemic realting to health cover and expenses that may occur for cancellation, interruption or extension of trips. You can find out about coverage and costs at Portugal Travel Insurance.


Do I have to wear a mask all the time? No, not all the time, However, masks are mandatory indoors in public spaces, eg. Supermarkets, public transport, shopping centres

What about walking from my hotel to the beach or a restaurant? You should wear a mask outside when it is not possible to mantain distance from others - eg on a street. Always have one with you for when you want to go inside.

Do I have to wear a mask to go to the beach?
No, as long as you are outside, on the beach, and you can mantain distance from others, no mask is required.

What about masks at restaurants or at a bar?
You should wear a mask when entering a restaurant or bar. Once seated at your table you can remove the mask. If you dine outside, then no mask is required. All staff at restaurants and bars wear masks.

Do children have to wear masks?
Yes, children 10 and older must wear masks.

From 28th Oct. 2020 use of masks outdoors in public spaces is mandatory "whenever the physical distance recommended by health authorities proves impractical". If you're walking on an empty beach or street you don't have to wear a mask. However, you should have a mask with you, as should more people appear, and the recommended physical distancing is not possible, then you have to wear a mask.

The BJ's Oceanside team, staff wear maks but diners don't have to as they eat outside on the sea-view terrace.

Algarve beaches are magnificent. And there are so many of them, most rarely get over- crowded, and some are so vast there is always plenty of space for everyone.Check out these long beaches where you can escape the crowd.

Can I go to the beach?
Yes! Beaches are open and gorgeous. Just keep social distancing in mind. But that’s something we do on the beach anyway, right?

Are numbers limited on beaches?
There are stipulated capacities for beaches, however, as mentioned above, there are so many beaches to choose from, there are always multiple options. Download the INFO PRAIA app for real time information on beach traffic.

Is social distancing required on beaches?
Yes, you should keep 2m distance between your group and other groups on the beach. Also, keep your distance while accessing the beach along the boardwalks, and walk to the right. The paths are usually signed for distance as a reminder.

Are watersports allowed?
Yes, watersports are allowed such as surf, SUP, jet skis and parasailing.

Can I buy a Bola de Berlim on the beach?
Yes, the Bola de Berlim sellers are in action! They will be wearing masks.

Are beach restaurants open?
Yes, they are. As most seating is outside at beach restaurants, they are a perfect options for tasty food or a cold drink.

Are shops, restaurants, bars open?

Yes, all are open with some limitations on capacity to ensure distance. Last entry into bars is at 11pm but the bars can stay open until 2am. Generally there are hand sanitizers at business entrances for your use. From 15th September to 30th September, bars and restaurants will have to close by 11pm and there is a limit of 10 people per group, unless the beling to the same household (the limit is 4 if the establishment is less than 300m from a school).

Is there any live music?

Yes, several venues have live music and DJ sessions. Check our Events Calendar to see what’s on.

What about sport?

You can play golf, mini golf, tennis, padel, footgolf, do some biking, hiking, surfing or SUP, explore by kayak, scuba dive or explore by boat. There are plenty of options for active fun.

Can I use swimming pools?
Swimming pools, at hotels, resorts and theme parks, as well as public pools and clubs such as NosoloAgua and Medusis are open for you to enjoy. They follow directives on capacity and cleaning.

Can I take a boat trip?
Yes. Boat trips along the coast, to Benagil and to Ponta da Piedade, as well as along the Ria Formosa are up and running. Advance booking is required and capacity is limited on the boats

What about Zoomarine and theme parks?
Zoomarine is open! and with just 1/3 capacity, it's 26 hectares gives you plenty of space to enjoy a wonderful. Recently Zoomarine underwent voluntary hygiene and infection tests by SGS Portugal and has been signalled as a safe and minimal risk venue for Coronavirus.

What is the Clean & Safe seal?
The Clean & Safe seal can be displayed by businesses within the tourism sector that adhere to a series of health, hygiene and safety protocols in place to prevent and control the spread of coronavirus and other infections.

All information is correct at time of publication, however conditions may change over time.

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