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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Azores - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place. You must wear a face covering in public.
If you violate the restrictions, you could be fined for endangering public health.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing
- Avoid crowded areas
The crime rate is low in the Azores. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, though uncommon, does occur. Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
In some areas, streets may be poorly lit and deserted at night. Be vigilant and avoid walking alone after dark.
Beaches and water activities
While beaches are generally considered safe, don’t leave your belongings unattended. Coastal waters can be dangerous. Drownings occur.
- Exercise caution
- Don’t visit beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
- Don’t swim at beaches that link to/from rivers, as the water currents can be very strong
- Don’t dive into unknown water, where hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death
- Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities, including flags at beaches, lakes and rivers
The main warning flags used in Portugal are:
- Green: calm waters, swimming allowed
- Yellow: agitated waters, no swimming allowed
- Red: dangerous waters, it is forbidden to swim or enter the water
- Checkered black and white: life guard is temporarily off duty
The maritime police have the authority to fine bathers who disobey the lifeguard’s warning flags.
In the fall and winter months, be careful when walking along beaches close to the water’s edge because waves can be very unpredictable in size. Waves may come onto shore further than expected and with strong undertows.
Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion. Falling rocks are a hazard and authorities can fine those who ignore warning signs.
In marine areas, coral, jellyfish and other ocean life found along reefs can cut or sting if touched or stepped on. If you suffer an injury, seek medical assistance immediately.
Exercise caution on country roads due to narrow streets, blind curves and corners, as well as hidden driveways. Poor lighting and wandering livestock also pose a hazard on some roads.
Taxis are equipped with meters, which may not be visible. To avoid complications, always ask the driver to turn on the meter. If the taxi doesn’t have a meter or you are travelling outside the city, agree on a price before getting in the taxi.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
COVID-19 - Entry requirements
Travellers arriving from Canada are not allowed entry to Portugal. However, certain travellers may be allowed entry if they can prove the essential nature of their travel.
It is your responsibility to verify this information with the appropriate foreign diplomatic office and to ask if you may be allowed entry, based on your individual circumstances and your itinerary.
Local authorities may impose additional requirements without notice and your travel plans could be severely disrupted. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Portuguese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Not required for stays up 90 days*
Residency visa: Required for long-term stays and employment
Student visa: Required
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
If you arrive in Portugal from a Schengen area country, don’t have EU citizenship and you are staying in private accommodations, you must register your presence in the country within 3 business days of arrival. You can register at any immigration office or police station.
Children and travel
Children under the age of 18 who are travelling alone must carry an authorization letter from the parent or parents not travelling. The letter must indicate who will be taking care of the minor during their stay in Portugal, and specific dates of travel.
More about travelling with children
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - January 16, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Eastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, crimean congo haemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, malaria, and tick-borne encephalitis.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are good. Medical evacuation to mainland Portugal is provided in case of serious illness or emergencies when needed. Advance payment is required.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Canada and Portugal are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Portugal to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Portuguese authorities.
Penalties for selling or trafficking illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Portugal.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Portugal, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
You should carry an international driving permit, although you can drive using a Canadian driver’s licence for up to 180 days.
You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car in Portugal.
Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, car seizure and a jail sentence.
The use of mobile telephones while driving is illegal, unless the phone is fitted with a hands-free device.
The use of a seatbelt is mandatory for the driver and all passengers in a car. Children up to 135 cm tall or under 12 years old must ride in appropriate car seats.
You must use low-beam headlights at all times.
In some areas, traffic radar registers violations and municipalities send tickets to the offender by mail. This includes out-of-country offenders. Fines for traffic violations are substantial. If you are stopped by a police officer, you must pay the fine on the spot or the vehicle may be impounded until the fine is paid.
If you are involved in an accident, you must not move the vehicle and you must immediately report the accident to the police.
In case of car trouble or an accident, you must immediately wear the reflective vest that is found in all vehicles and set up and place the warning triangle up to 30 meters behind the vehicle. These items are mandatory in all vehicles.
- More information about driving in Portugal - European Commission
- More about the International Driving Permit
The currency of Portugal is the euro (EUR).
Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widely available.
If you are carrying more than €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs upon your entry or exit to the European Union. The sum can be in cash, cheque, money order, traveller’s cheque or any other convertible asset. This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.
More information about cash controls - European Commission
Natural disasters and climate
The Azores is located in an active seismic zone. While seismic activity is rare, it can be devastating.
Storms and flooding
Severe rainstorms occur and can cause flooding and landslides, which can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services to isolated towns and villages. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged. Excessive rainfall, violent winds and high waves usually occur in the Azores from June through November. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
- More about hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Information about active events - Portugal’s National Authority for Civil Protection
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Ponta Delgada - Consulate of Canada
Lisbon - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Lisbon and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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