Portugal: Experience report during Covid-19

I wanted to do here an aftermath of your experience in Portugal this year during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I will not pretend that travel this year was an easy decision. With the ongoing news about the topic in the media, it was hard to make a good decision. Also, with keeping the own health and the health of others in mind. As with the majority of the Germans staying Germany this year, this is not what I wanted to do. Overcrowded places, full hiking trails and potentially more exposure to Covid-19 in our own backyard. With that I chose Portugal, as it was going through the pandemic with fewer numbers until August. And in retro I can say it was the right choice. We had amazing nature all to ourselves.

Flying (airport and plane)

How flying was during the pandemic, from Frankfurt (Germany) to Porto (Portugal), I already covered here. But let me say a few words on the airport experience. Here the difference:

  • sanitize your hand before entering the airport
  • wear mask in the airport and plane, all the time – you will be reminded of that over speaker every 5 minutes
  • only every other seat can be taken in the airport
  • safety boxes at the airport can be used to buy new masks
  • entering/leaving a plane is based on your seat number
  • in the plane you get another sanitary towel to disinfect your hands and seat

In the accommodations

In Portugal a certificate with the name “clean and save” was implemented for the tourism industry. This would mean that for example accommodations implemented the health safety recommendations according to National Health Authority guidelines. As we wanted to be safe during our travel, we only stayed in accommodations that had this certificate. In general this meant, they have hand sanitizer when entering and in the rooms, staff and guest need to wear mask and the overall cleaning protocol of the accommodation is done as per health authority protocol. 

In restaurants

In general not only the hotel and restaurant staff was wearing masks and also reminded the guest to do the same (in case they did not). The general acceptance of wearing masks been done by everyone. In cities and towns were distance could not be kept we even saw 50-60% of the people wearing masks outside on the streets. We even ask a couple of times how is the general acceptance of the masks in Portugal. The answer we got was amazing: “We wear the mask because we love our grandparents and do not want to put them on risk.”

Resume: May this is the best (or worst) time to travel at the moment. The best time in order to see places and escape the crowds. The worst time because of potential exposure to Covid-19. Let me put it like this, if we all following the rules of: wearing the mask, keeping distance, washing our hands and regular ventilation – we should be nearly as safe everywhere. Important is, that with all the happiness travel might give us, we do not forget that the pandemic is still ongoing and everybody of us can make a difference.

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