International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

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Portugal Travel Advice

Last updated: ET

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Portugal - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in Portugal.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, occurs. Thieves are very skilled and often work in groups. Be particularly vigilant in these public areas:

  • all tourist sites and attractions
  • beaches
  • restaurants
  • hotel lobbies
  • transportation hubs, including bus and train stations

While crime occurs mostly in larger cities, thieves can strike anywhere, including in small towns popular with tourists and, in particular, towns along the coast. Be particularly careful in the greater area of Lisbon:

  • Sintra and Queluz
  • Costa da Caparica beaches
  • Guincho beach
  • Cascais
  • Cabo da Roca and Boca do Inferno

Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents are secure at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings, avoid wearing or carrying expensive watches, jewellery, cameras, etc. and don’t carry large sums of cash. If possible, carry only the documents, cash and belongings you will need for the day; leave all other items in a hotel safe.

In Lisbon, exercise caution at all train, bus and underground stations, and particularly on electric trams numbered:

  • E28, to Castelo de São Jorge (São Jorge castle)
  • E25, to Prazeres
  • E15, to Belém

In Porto, don’t walk alone after dark, especially along the Douro River Waterfront.

If you are robbed, go to the nearest police station to report the crime and obtain a police report. There are tourist police stations in Lisbon, Porto, Praia da Rocha (Portimão) and Cascais. Local establishments, such as hotels will be able to direct you to the police station.

Violent crime targeting tourists is rare in Portugal.

Parked vehicles and vehicles on the road

Vehicle break-ins are frequent. Rented vehicles are a target of choice.

  • Leave nothing in view in the vehicle
  • Ensure that your belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Use secure parking facilities
  • Be particularly vigilant when renting automobiles
  • Beware of any person who waves at you to stop on the highway

Official assistance and road monitoring vehicles are present on Portuguese highways. They will come to your assistance. When possible, wait for these service providers to arrive or if you are in sight of an SOS phone (which are located along the highways), use it to call for help.

Home break-ins

Tourists staying in rental homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglaries. Choose well-secured homes and avoid unsavoury neighbourhoods. Whether you are staying in private or commercial accommodations, make sure you lock windows and doors securely at night and when you are away.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities and further attacks are likely.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Demonstrations and labour disruptions

A strike will affect rail services across the country until July 31, 2022.

  • Expect delays and cancellations
  • Contact the company to determine whether the situation will disrupt your travel

Strike - Comboios de Portugal

Demonstrations and labour disruptions can occur in larger urban centres. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Beaches and water activities

Always obey warning 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 blue and white or checkered black and white: life guard is temporarily off duty

The flags are there for your own safety. The Portuguese Maritime Police could fine you for disobeying a flag warning.

In marine areas, coral, jellyfish and other ocean life found along reefs can poison, sting or cause infection if touched or stepped on.

  • Ask local authorities about the presence of such species and whether they are dangerous
  • Immediately seek medical assistance if you get hurt

In the fall and winter months, be cautious when walking along beaches close to the water’s edge as waves can be unpredictable in size and may come onto shore further than expected.

  • Don’t visit beaches or coastal areas during periods of severe weather warnings
  • Look out for signs warning of cliff erosion and falling rocks
  • Don’t dive into unknown waters, as hidden rocks or shallow depths can cause serious injury or death
  • Exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities

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Road safety

Excessive speeds, tailgating, unpredictable driving habits and reckless motorcyclists pose hazards. Slow-moving machinery can also pose a hazard and you may come across them in both rural and national roads.

When walking around in the cities, be careful with the uneven and often slippery pavement “calçada”. Cross only at pedestrian cross walks. Always be alert and make sure vehicles have stopped before crossing.

Public transportation

Public transportation is generally safe.

When using taxis, particularly from the Lisbon Airport into the city, negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged. Baggage fees and toll charges are added to the final bill.

Take note of the number or licence plate of the taxi in case you need to report unsatisfactory service, reckless driving or if you leave items behind by accident.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Travel delays and disruptions

Flight and travel delays may occur at Portuguese airports due to a high volume of travellers.

If you plan on travelling to or transiting through Portugal:

  • expect long lines
  • use the automated e-passport gates when available
  • allow sufficient transit time if you have an onward flight
  • monitor the media for the latest information

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Certain European Union countries might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories for entry or to be exempt from quarantine requirements. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

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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 the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Schengen area

Portugal is a Schengen area country. 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.

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Passport

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.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

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Automated e-passport gates

If you are 18 and over and travelling with a Canadian e-passport, you may use the automated e-passport gates for entry into Portugal.

Visas

Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days (see Schengen area for details)

Business visa: Not required for stays up 90 days (see Schengen area for details)

Work visa: Required

Student visa: Required

Registration

If you arrive in Portugal from a Schengen area country 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.

Other requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them proof of a return ticket.

Children and travel

Minors, under the age of 18, who are travelling alone or with adults other than their parents or legal guardian 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

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

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.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.

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.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* 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.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

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

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.

Hepatitis B

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.

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Southern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Southern Europe, certain insects carry and spread diseases like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic feverleishmaniasisLyme diseasetick-borne encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in Southern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Person-to-Person Infections

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

COVID-19 - Testing facilities

Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:

Health care is very good. Services are available throughout the country but may be limited in rural areas. Many private hospitals and clinics require advance payment prior to treatment. Keep all receipts of payment to reclaim expenses from your travel insurance company.

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.

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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. 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. This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Identification

You must carry photo identification when in Portugal. To minimize the risk of your passport getting lost or stolen, carry a photocopy of your passport or other form of valid photo ID with you. Leave your passport in a safe location. If required, the police may escort you to retrieve your passport from safekeeping.

If you carry your passport as official ID, keep a photocopy or digital copy in a separate, safe place, should the original be lost or seized.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect fines, administrative sanctions or jail sentences.

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Dual citizenship

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

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Portugal.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Portugal, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Portuguese court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Portugal to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

You must be at least 18 years old to drive a car in Portugal.

You can drive using a Canadian driver’s licence for up to 180 days. You should carry an international driving permit.

Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines, car seizure and a jail sentence.

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.

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.

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 should be found in all vehicles and set up and place the warning triangle up to 30 metres behind the vehicle. These items are mandatory in all vehicles.

Money

The currency of Portugal is the euro (EUR).

If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:

  • banknotes and coins
  • bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
  • bonds, shares
  • gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
  • gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
  • any other convertible asset

This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.

EU cash controls - European Commission

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Natural disasters and climate

Wildfires

High temperatures can create dry conditions, which can lead to large fires throughout continental Portugal. Fires can cause disruptions to communications and transportation networks. They can also cause road (including major highway) closures.

In case of fire, stay away from the affected area. Always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel. Monitor local media for up-to-date information.

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke and affect travellers with respiratory ailments.

Causing a forest fire is treated as a criminal offence, punishable by heavy fines or imprisonment.

Seasonal risks

Extreme weather changes result in heavy rain and wind storms in the fall and winter months. Rogue waves pose a hazard along the entire west coast.

Seismic activity

Portugal is located in an active seismic zone. While seismic activity is rare, it can be devastating.

Information about active events  - Portugal’s National Authority for Civil Protection (primarily in Portuguese)

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Lisbon - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressAvenida da Liberdade 196-200, 3rd Floor, 1269-121 Lisbon, PortugalTelephone+351 21 316 4600Fax+351 21 316 4693Emaillsbon.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.portugal.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada to PortugalConsular district

Azores

Faro - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressRua Frei Lourenço de Santa Maria No. 1, 1st Floor, Apartado 79, 8000-352 Faro, PortugalPostal AddressP.O. Box 79, Faro, 8001-901, PortugalTelephone+351 289 803 757Fax+351 289 880 888Emaillsbon.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.portugal.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Portugal
Ponta Delgada - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressRua D’Agua, 28, 9500-040 Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, PortugalTelephone+351 296 281 488Fax+351 296 287 769Emaillsbon.consular@international.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada to Portugal

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.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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